No 2013 festive edition for The Royle Family

The Royle Family, Jim and Barbara, Sue Johnston, Ricky TomlinsonThe Royle Family will not return to BBC One for its annual festive outing this year.

The Granada produced sitcom originally ran on the BBC between 1998 and 2000 – before its revival in 2006 for one off specials. Since 2008, a Christmas special has aired every year except 2011.

Broadcast journalist Robin Parker confirmed on Twitter –  following a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch with BBC comedy boss Shane Allen – that the show would not be part of this year’s festive schedule.

The news is likely to come as a disappointment to fans with whom the sitcom remains popular.  The last Christmas special ‘Barbara’s Old Ring’ attracted an audience of 10 million.

Allen confirmed that Christmas specials of Citizen Khan and Not Going Out are in the works, while Ben Elton’s The Wright Way and Sue Perkins’ Heading Out have not been re-commissioned.

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