Peter Kay has said he penned a second series to hit comedy Car Share long before it was commissioned by the BBC.
The comedian stars as supermarket assistant manager John Redmond in the show, which sees him driving promotions assistant Kayleigh Kitson, played by Sian Gibson, to work as part of an employee car share scheme.
The show was a hit with viewers when it debuted in 2015 and scored a best-scripted comedy Bafta for the duo as well as a best male comedy performance gong for Kay.
The show will return for four new episodes later this month, with the pair making their way to work separately after Kayleigh moves in with her sister, but Kay said there was no pressure to follow up on its success because much of the work was already done.
He said: “We had already written most of the new series in 2014, which was a bit of a gamble as we didn’t know if the BBC would want a second series, but we just loved spending the time writing it together.
“It was an absolute joy to be back in the car again as after the first series everything was much more familiar.
“Also, the weather was particularly kind to us, we had plenty of sunshine and only had one day of rain, which is pretty rare in the north-west of England.
Sian added: “I couldn’t wait to get back in the car because we had such a great time making the first series.
“This time felt even better because, like Peter said, we were much more familiar with everything.”
Until the first series was a hit, Sian said she could not anticipate how much of a success it would be and was worried she would be responsible for Peter having a failed show.
Er don't think I've mentioned this….. https://t.co/59EGW3tv4k
— Sian Gibson (@Sianygibby) April 4, 2017
She said: “Even though I know how much people love Peter, I was still worried that they would just be bored with the two of us stuck in a car and I might be responsible for Peter’s first TV flop.
“I was so overwhelmed at how much everybody enjoyed the show and the characters.”
Peter added: “I always believed in Car Share but, like Sian, I was always worried that viewers may not have the patience to stay with such a simple idea of two people commuting to work, especially in this fast-paced day and age with so many options to watch.
“Casting Sian was the best decision I ever made and I was grateful that the BBC trusted my decision as I knew if we could capture even just a fraction of our friendship, then maybe that would be the magic that people would enjoy the most.”
Car Share will start on April 11 at 9pm on BBC One. The rest of the series will be available on BBC iPlayer as a box set straight after the first airs and the series will continue on BBC One on Tuesdays at 9pm.