Fans of The Royle Family – me included – were of course gutted that last year’s Christmas special was cancelled due to writers Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne being unable to complete the script in time for filming.
However, the great news is that there is a Christmas special this year, though sadly, it won’t feature Twiggy as Geoffrey Hughes, who played the wide-boy, died earlier this year.
But the rest of the regular cast are back – with the exception of Ralf Little as Anthony and Jessica Hynes who plays Cheryl – for the festive special, including of course Ricky Tomlinson as patriarch Jim…
And Ricky has been talking to TV Times magazine about the long awaited special – which airs at 9.45pm on Christmas Day on BBC1 – and during the interview, he remarked that “everyone knows someone like Jim.”
He began by saying that most fans that he meets generally yell “My arse!” at him, which is of course his character’s trademark saying.
Ricky said, “I must get shouted at 50 times a day – by everyone from bus drivers to kids – and every time they shout I think I should say, ‘Thanks!’
“People are absolutely smashing about it and they’ve made me a good living.
“Women always come up and say Jim’s like their bone-idle husband, or kids say he’s like their grandad.
“Everybody knows somebody like Jim.”
And of what’s in store in the new episode, Ricky said, “It’s the funniest one we’ve done.
“It’s the only show we’ve done where we had to stop filming because the crew were laughing!”
Ricky went on to say that in the Christmas special, Jim’s convinced he’s about to be rich courtesy of a scratch card!
He said, “He thinks it’s going to get him a fortune. He’s very sly, though, and doesn’t tell anyone until he gets exposed.
“By that I mean that I had to do a scene in my Y-fronts. I can see the women all over Britain swooning at that sight.”
And finally, when asked, “Will we be seeing more of the show and Jim in the future?” Ricky replied, “The Royle Family will come back again without a shadow of a doubt.
“We all love making it.”
Here’s the trailer for the Christmas episode…