Lager goes live

Two Pints makes TV history

The next series of Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps is to start with a live episode.

The episode, on BBC Three at 9pm this Sunday, kicks off season seven of the Runcorn-based youth comedy.

It will be broadcast live from the BBC’s Television Centre in West London, following in the ratings-grabbing footsteps of American programmes such as ER, Will & Grace and The West Wing. Two Pints is the first established British sitcom to go live in modern times, although Coronation Street and The Bill have both previously done so. And in 1987, BBC Two aired seven episodes of a live sitcom/sketch show hybrid called Hello Mum, which featured Helen Lederer, Arnold Brown and Richard Vranch.

The Two Pints episode’s plot includes an in-joke that the series is past its prime; with Ralf Little’s character winning a competition to go shark-jumping in Hawaii.

An identical plotline featuring Fonzie in Happy Days gave rise to the expression ‘jumping the shark’ to indicate when a once-popular show runs out of ideas.

Little has previously announced that he will not be appearing alongside Natalie Casey, Kathryn Drysdale, Will Mellor and Sheridan Smith this series.

Two Pints has been a mainstay of BBC Three's schedules since the comedy began in 2001 - but the corporation has been criticised for the number of times it is repeated, after it emerged last year that one episode had been seen 57 times in four years.

Here’s the trailer for the live show:

Published: 10 Jan 2008

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