The BBC comedy, Hold the Sunset, starring John Cleese and Alison Steadman, finishes its first series on Sunday 25th March – but will it return for more?


At the moment there are no immediate plans to announce a second series, according to BBC sources, but a recommission is not being ruled out.

According to one source the broadcaster is keen to bring it back, but a deal has still to be reached.

The show saw Monty Python and Fawlty Towers legend Cleese appearing in his first sitcom for Auntie since Basil F’s hotel closed its doors in 1979.

He plays Phil in Hold the Sunset, an old boyfriend of Edith (portrayed by Steadman) who dreams of marrying his lady love and moving to the sun.

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Just as Edith finally says yes to his proposal, there’s a knock on the door – and there on the step, with a large suitcase, is her 50-year-old son Roger (Line of Duty star Jason Watkins) to spoil their plans.

Written by Charles McKeown, the show has performed credibly in the ratings. It opened with an audience of 6.2 million viewers on BBC1 last month, with last week’s episode getting a 3.6 million overnight audience which will rise once the figures are consolidated.

But it has split the critics.

The Telegraph wrote: “This was one of those wonderful programmes about everything and nothing – love, getting on with getting on, and simply taking a deep breath and adjusting as best you can when things don’t quite turn out the way you’d hoped.”

However the Mail countered: "It remains to be seen whether audiences still have an appetite for laboured slapstick where ageing men get into scrapes and women cluck over them."

But the sun has not gone down on this show. Not yet, anyway.


This article was originally published on 23 March 2018