Count Arthur Strong is dropped after three series

Photo credit: BBC/Retort/Des Willie
Photo credit: BBC/Retort/Des Willie

From Digital Spy

The show will not go on for Count Arthur Strong.

The BBC's adaptation of the cult hit comedy radio series only finished up its third series last month, but a decision to end the sitcom has already been reached.

A Beeb spokesperson told the Radio Times: "There are no current plans for a further series of Count Arthur Strong on the BBC."

Count Arthur Strong originally aired on BBC Two, but was bumped up to BBC One for its late-night slot in its second series and an 8.30pm slot for its third series in hopes of reaching a wider audience.

Photo credit: BBC/Retort/Des Willie
Photo credit: BBC/Retort/Des Willie

Father Ted and The IT Crowd's Graham Linehan adapted Count Arthur Strong for telly with Steve Delaney, who created and played the title character originally for BBC Radio 4.

The comedy series revolved around out-of-work actor Arthur's run-ins with with his former comedy partner's son Michael (Skyfall's Rory Kinnear) and other eccentrics at his local café.

When Digital Spy recently caught up with Steve Delaney, he revealed that his original pitch for a TV spin-off was actually a game show format.

"I'm very happy people didn't see that," Linehan admitted to us. "It wasn't a good idea! We'd looked at Alan Partridge, and how it started as a chat show and then became a sitcom, so we thought maybe we should go that way as well.

Photo credit: BBC/Retort/Des Willie
Photo credit: BBC/Retort/Des Willie

"We were going for a 3-2-1-style quiz show that Steve was introducing and... it just didn't work. After we shot the first episode, we realised it was too hard. It was exhausting. We wouldn't have been able to do it every week.

"It's also very difficult to make actors pretend to be normal members of the public – the temptation to 'act' is always too big, so you don't get the kind of naturalistic style that's really important to make things like that work.

"So we did that and then we thought, why are we messing around? Let's try and write a sitcom!"

Maybe it's time to give that game show another shot? The original Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show premiered on Radio 4 back in 2005.

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