Seeing as how the revival of To The Manor Born was so crap, the Beeb needs to start thinking now about something decent it can run on Christmas Day this year.
One option is to do what former BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey used to do, which was make her staff wear party hats and pull crackers during brainstorming meetings. Another, saner, option is to consider making one of the following:
1) EVER DECREASING CIRCLES
Martin and Ann, now retired, return to the Close only to find Paul, in his role as chair of the local council, has turned the area into an eco-village, with solar panels fitted on every roof and wind turbines in the garden. The erstwhile foes are soon at each other’s throats. Meanwhile Ann is distraught to find the widowed Hilda living in a rundown care home.
Timothy has inherited the house which he used to share with his mother and father. Unfortunately he has also inherited dry rot, an infestation of weevils, and custody of the one son he had with his ex-wife. As his attempts to supervise the behaviour of his offspring (played by David Mitchell) lead to increasing acrimony, it begins to dawn on Timothy he is turning into the one thing he always feared: his own mother.
3) DON’T WAIT UP
The Doctors Latimer find themselves called back into service when a team of East European medics are hounded out by a bunch of placard-wielding vigilantes, leaving the entire town completely devoid of GPs. Despite increasing infirmity (on the one hand) and lechery (on the other), the pair do their best to cope with a sudden outbreak of winter vomiting disease.
It’s 1975. Joe Maplin is going broke, so he decides to reopen the holiday camp for a limited summer season. As the old gang reassemble, it becomes clear a lot has changed. Peggy is shocked to discover Sylvia is now an understudy for Anthea Redfern, Ted is appalled to find Spike has become one of the Black And White Minstrels, Barry is alarmed by Yvonne’s newfound interest in disco dancing – but the biggest surprise of all is the fact there’s a ring on Gladys’s finger…