Sitcom that’s worth staying in for
BBC One’s long running comedy, Not Going Out, continues this week and there are no signs of the hit-show slowing down. Over ten years after it first aired on the BBC, the show is now on its eighth series and has already received the green light for series nine and ten. Not Going Out remains the longest-running UK television sitcom still on-air.
A lot has changed since we first met Lee Mack’s character back in 2006. During the Christmas 2015 special we saw the surprise wedding of Lee and Lucy (played by Sally Brett on) and now the show has jumped forward seven years and now sees the couple as parents to Charlie and five yearold twins, Benji and Molly.
The show still includes favourite characters like Lee’s ‘lovably feckless’ father (played by Bobby Ball), and close friends including the ‘wife-weary’, Toby (Hugh Dennis) and uptight ice- queen Anna ( Abigail Cruttenden). Lucy’s more dependable parents Geoffrey (Geoffrey Whitehead) and Wendy( Deborah Grant) are also set to appear.
Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, is thrilled that Lee and Lucy are back: “Not Going Out is on its way to modern classic status as it clocks up another richly gag-packed and comic incident-heavy series,
“The jump forward introduction of their kids provides Lee and Lucy with a new family domestic setting and springboard to broaden out their world from a ‘will they, won’t they?’ dynamic to the ‘why the hell have we?’ that comes with parenting.”
However it’s not just his character that has seen changes, in the ten years since Not Going Out began, Lee Mack himself has become a father of three, which is said to have changed his outlook as well as his comedy writing.
Mack once said that if characters Lee and Lucy ever got together then he would end the show. However with Mack changing his mind, the sitcom has received a shift and now features more of a family element instead of the off beat romantic comedy theme which dominated its first decade.
In last week’s episode we saw Lee trying to get the ‘romance’ back on track with his wife after seven years of marriage. In this week’s instalment, we’ll see Lucy causing grave offence by choosing the wrong baby-sitter for their trio of offspring when the couple plan a night out on the tiles.
Throughout the years Mack’s career has gone from strength to strength and he is now established as one of the UK’s most recognisable comics. He can be seen as a team captain on BBC 1’s Would I Lie To You? and the host of Sky One’s Duck Quacks Don’t Echo.
In 2017 Mack will make his London West End debut in The Miser.
Not Going Out is on BBC 1, Friday nights, at 9:30pm.