Fans call on BBC to make Goodnight Sweetheart a series

Viewers have urged the BBC to bring back Goodnight Sweetheart after the one-off return was deemed a huge success.

Nicholas Lyndhurst reprised his role as time traveller Gary Sparrow in Friday night's revival of the British sitcom.

The special BBC1 episode - written by original creators Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran - beat the opposition in the ratings with 3.7 million viewers (19.5% share) and a peak of four million.

Goodnight Sweetheart
Goodnight Sweetheart (BBC/Retort/Scott Kershaw)

Gardeners' World on BBC2 was watched by 2.4 million, Lady C And The Castle on ITV attracted 2.2 million and Eight Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown on Channel 4 got 1.6 million.

Young Hyacinth, a prequel to Keeping Up Appearances, which was broadcast straight after Goodnight Sweetheart, was watched by 3.4 million viewers, a peak of 3.5 million and a 17.8% share.

No decisions have yet been made about making a full series of the sitcom, commissioned as part of a season of one-off specials celebrating the heritage of BBC comedy.

Young Hyacinth
Young Hyacinth (BBC/Colin Hutton)

Both shows received a warm response from fans following the return of Are You Being Served? which was panned by viewers, and Porridge.

Nicholas's former co-star in Only Fools and Horses, John Challis, was among the viewers who enjoyed Goodnight Sweetheart.

John, who played Boycie in Only Fools and Horses, wrote on Twitter:

Comic Jason Manford also heaped praise on the episode.

Goodnight Sweetheart ran for six series on BBC One.

Nicholas last played Sparrow, a former TV repairman and accidental time traveller who leads an extraordinary double life, 17 years ago.

Other fans also called for the return of the show.

Viewers also praised the performance of Kerry Howard as a young Hyacinth in the prequel to Keeping Up Appearances.

Derren Litten, who wrote the return of Are You Being Served?, approved:

Earlier this year, Keeping Up Appearances' star Patricia Routledge suggested that she was unimpressed with the idea of the corporation revisiting some of Britain's best-loved TV series.

"Why are they doing this sort of thing?" the actress, 87, was quoted as saying. "They must be desperate."

Kerry described her response as "sad", saying: "I think she should be incredibly flattered that the BBC are paying homage to all these great shows."

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