Ideal axed

Johnny Vegas sitcom dropped despite record ratings

The BBC has axed Johnny Vegas sitcom Ideal after seven series, its writer Graham Duff has revealed.

The news comes despite record ratings for the BBC Three show, about small-time drug dealer Moz. It boosted its audience by almost 20 per cent fort the latest series, which has just finished, with an average of 535,000 viewers an episode.

BBC Three controller Zai Bennett has now cancelled almost all of the channel’s comedies as he makes his own stamp on the slate he took over eight months ago. Only Mongrels and Russell Howard's Good News have so far escaped his axe.

Duff  – who also plays Graham – broke the news in a message to fans, which read: ‘As some of you may have heard, the BBC have decided against commissioning an 8th series of Ideal. The reason given was that the new channel controller wanted to make a clean sweep.

‘It is a source of both pride and frustration that, at the point of cancellation, Ideal was attracting its biggest ever audiences, its highest profile guest stars and its best ever reviews. And the show is now being screened in more countries than ever before - from America to Finland and beyond.

‘I just want to say a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who has appeared in the show and worked behind the scenes over the last seven years and 53 episodes. And a very special thanks to everyone who has supported the show and spread the word. We really wouldn't have got this far without you.

‘It's been a truly wonderful journey and to work with such a genuinely amazing team has been both an honour and a solid hoot.’

The show – made by Steve Coogan and Henry Normal’s production company Baby Cow –  has featured several stars of the comedy circuit, including Seymour Mace, Tony Burgess, Emma Fryer, Jo Enright, Andrew Lawrence and Joanna Neary as well as guest stars such as Janeane Garofalo.

Published: 4 Aug 2011

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