The Royle Family co-creator used supermarket visits as comedy inspiration

The late Caroline Aherne had "this fascination with ordinary people".

Caroline Aherne, Ralf Little, Craig Cash, Sue Johnston & Liz Smith Television: The Royle Family  (TV-Serie) Characters: Denise Best,Antony Royle,Dave Best,Barbara Royle & Norma Speakman  Uk 1998–2012,  Director:   14 September 1998   **WARNING** This Photograph is for editorial use only and is the copyright of GRANADA TELEVISION and/or the Photographer assigned by the Film or Production Company and can only be reproduced by publications in conjunction with the promotion of the above Film. A Mandatory Credit To GRANADA TELEVISION is required. The Photographer should also be credited when known.
The late Caroline Aherne, Ralf Little, Craig Cash, Sue Johnston and the late Liz Smith in The Royle Family. (Granada Television)

The late, great Caroline Aherne was a big advocate for listening in the supermarket for comedy gold.

Her fellow Royle Family co-creator Craig Cash reveals as much in the upcoming documentary Caroline Aherne: Queen of Comedy, which is scheduled to air on Christmas Day on BBC Two.

According to The Mirror, the star (who played the husband of Aherne's Denise, Dave, in the beloved sitcom between 1998 and 2012) recounts just how driven she was to get their show on air, with the BBC resisting its charms due to having neither traditional "gags" or a live studio audience.

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"There was a lot of doubt about it and we felt down," says Cash to the camera.

"But Caroline would be very resolute. 'Nobody's changing this'. She'd be like 'telly's full of people with more confidence than talent'. She gave me confidence.

"She had this fascination with ordinary people, she'd say all the comedy you want in the world is in the supermarket if you listen."

TV BAFTAS Aherne & Cash
Aherne and Cash on the TV Baftas red carpet. (Alamy).

Elsewhere in the special, Cash, who took over Aherne's role as the Gogglebox narrator when she passed away from cancer in 2016, describes his friend and collaborator as a "very bright light that didn't shine long enough".

He adds: "She'd be quite bemused and amused that we're all yapping about her. She'd say: 'Cashy, you never said anything nice about me when I was alive, did you?'"

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Previously speaking to RadioTimes, Cash discussed his initial struggles with the Gogglebox job.

"When Caroline died in July 2016, I took over narrating duties. She will of course forever be in my life, but it was heartbreaking going into the small studio in Manchester at 8am on a Friday morning to record the narration for the show, knowing that Caroline used to sit in the same room."

Eventually, though, he found comfort in the workspace.

"Now that time has passed, going into the studio is a lovely little moment because Caroline is with me again. And I know she'll be watching Gogglebox in heaven with 20 Bensons and a bottle of champagne," Cash said.

Caroline Aherne: Queen of Comedy airs Christmas Day on BBC Two at 10.25pm.

Watch: Ralf Little on the instant success of The Royle Family