Outnumbered Christmas Special and Not Going Out Series 14 announced as BBC unveils new comedy lineup

Virgin Radio

23 May 2024, 10:45

Credit: BBC

Beloved sitcoms Outnumbered and Not Going Out are set to return, promising laughter and nostalgia as part of BBC’s exciting new comedy slate.

BBC Director of Comedy, Jon Petrie, has made a passionate plea to save the nation's sitcoms, calling for a revival of homegrown storytelling and the creation of future classics.

Speaking at the BBC Comedy Festival in Glasgow, Jon unveiled an exciting lineup of six new and returning shows, sparking joy among sitcom fans.

Among the highlights are the return of the much-loved family favourite Outnumbered for a Christmas special and the longest-running British sitcom Not Going Out for its 14th series.



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Outnumbered: The Brockmans are back for Christmas chaos

The Brockman family is set to reunite for a special festive episode of Outnumbered on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this Christmas.

Written and directed by the show’s original creators, Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton, the Christmas special will delve into the chaos of Pete and Sue Brockman’s downsized home as they navigate the trials and tribulations of parenting now-adult children.

Hugh Dennis, Claire Skinner, Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche, and Ramona Marquez will all reprise their roles as the beloved Brockman family.

Expect hilarity and heartfelt moments as Sue and Pete gather their offspring, including a grandchild, in an attempt to celebrate a traditional family Christmas.

But, of course, fate, neighbours, hyenas, and bus replacement services have other plans.

Hugh Dennis, who plays dad Pete, shared his excitement: “I can’t wait for the Brockmans to be back together again. Pete and Sue have downsized, the children are no longer children, but I’m sure family life will prove to be just as chaotic as ever.”

Claire Skinner, who plays mum Sue, added: “I’m really looking forward to being reunited with my TV family. Working on this wonderful BBC comedy doesn’t feel like work and is one of the greatest joys for us all.”

Jon Petrie, the Director of BBC Comedy, expressed his enthusiasm: “Outnumbered is one of the crown jewels of British sitcoms. We're so grateful to Guy, Andy, Hattrick, and the cast for dusting it off and putting it back on display.”

Executive producer Jimmy Mulville from Hat Trick Productions teased: “Who doesn’t want to know what happened to the Brockmans, our favourite television family, since we last saw them?

"Well, we can find out when Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkins’ ground-breaking comedy returns in a one-off special this Christmas. It’s unmissable!”

Co-creator Andy Hamilton hinted at the excitement of revisiting the Brockman family: “It’s a very exciting prospect to be revisiting the Brockman family - older, but not necessarily wiser - as they steer a path through the perils of Xmas and the rapids of modern-day family life.”

Guy Jenkin, co-creator, writer, and director, added: “I really wanted to find out what the Brockmans were up to these days, so Andy and I had to write this special.”

Outnumbered, which originally ran for five series between 2007 and 2014, last graced our screens with a Christmas special in 2016.

Known for its semi-improvised scenes with the children, the show captured the hearts of audiences with its relatable and humorous take on family life.

While no official date has been announced yet, fans are hoping the Brockmans will join the ranks of festive favourites like Gavin and Stacey for a joyous Christmas season.

Not Going Out: Lee Mack and the gang are here to stay

The longest-running sitcom on British television, Not Going Out, will return for its 14th series on the BBC in 2025.

Created by and starring Lee Mack, the multi-award-winning sitcom has become a staple of British comedy, recently celebrating its 100th episode during the 2023 Christmas schedule.

Lee Mack expressed his gratitude and excitement for the show’s continuation: “Once again I’m very grateful that the BBC have trusted in us to keep alive the studio sitcom. I grew up watching this genre of sitcom on the BBC, and to be part of it myself is still a dream come true, even after 18 years of doing it. Here we go again….!!”

Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy at the BBC, highlighted the show’s enduring appeal: “Not Going Out remains one of the UK’s most cherished sitcoms, a true testament to the exceptional comedic talents of Lee and his team. The show’s consistent success and popularity speak volumes, and we are beyond chuffed about its return.”

Jon Thoday, Executive Producer at Avalon, echoed the sentiment: “We are delighted to see the BBC keep the fire of the studio sitcom alive and it is a privilege to work with Lee Mack, who is a true master of his craft, as well as the excellent team on the show.”

Not Going Out, which stars Lee Mack (as Lee) and Sally Bretton (as Lucy), has featured a stellar cast over its 13 series, including Bobby Ball, Abigail Cruttenden, Hugh Dennis (busy schedule), Megan Dodds, Deborah Grant, Miranda Hart, Tim Vine, Timothy West, Geoffrey Whitehead, and Katy Wix.

The sitcom continues to be a significant show for the BBC, ranking among the top two most-watched comedies on iPlayer over the past 12 months, alongside Ghosts.

The series 13 Christmas Special, marking the 100th episode, averaged a viewership of 4.6 million.

Critics have praised the show’s infectious humor and touching moments, with Michael Hogan of The Radio Times noting: “Mack and his cast, as always, appear to be having a whale of a time and it’s infectious. Amid the mirth, there are also some sweetly affecting moments.”

As fans eagerly await the return of Outnumbered and Not Going Out, the BBC’s commitment to homegrown comedy is evident.

Jon Petrie’s call to save sitcoms and invest in the next generation of classics is a promising step towards preserving the rich tradition of British comedy.

With beloved shows returning and new series on the horizon, it’s an exciting time for comedy lovers.

So, dust off your Christmas jumpers and get ready to laugh out loud as the Brockmans and Lee Mack bring their unique brand of chaos and humour back to our screens.

Both Outnumbered and Not Going Out are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.