Usually we only seem to find the time to blog once in a blue moon, but our new efficient regime finds us blogging twice in two days – with good reason: last week we celebrated the 25th anniversary of the first transmission of Birds of a Feather, on October 16, 1989. It was nearly the last transmission because the sight and sound of Cockney women talking candidly and comedically about life, love, and sex was too much for some viewers, and the BBC switchboard was deluged with calls of complaint.
We were summoned to defend ourselves the following morning, on the BBC’s brand new breakfast programme. Viewers were encouraged to phone in and add their peeves to the furore. Happily, almost all the calls were from women who had found the show refreshing and truthful. After half an hour the slightly disappointed producer said “you might as well go home.”
When the viewing figures were compiled, the Head of Light Entertainment sidled up to us and asked “Any chance of a Christmas Special?” We went on to produce well over one hundred episodes for the BBC – making Birds one of the landmark comedies of the 1990s. We never imagined that a decade and a half later, Birds would switch channels to become ITV’s biggest comedy hit this century. That’s why last Thursday we all gathered in the rehearsal room for cake, champagne, photographs and memories.
Tomorrow we record episode three of the new eight-part series, so there’s still time for some of you to get to see the show, which we record at the world-famous Pinewood Studios. To apply for audience tickets go to http://www.sroaudiences.com/