Bottom duo will return to BBC Two

Ade Edmondson and Rik Mayall

Ade Edmondson and Rik Mayall are coming back to BBC Two as Richard 'Richie' Richard and Eddie Hitler from their cult 1990s hit Bottom.

The announcement of the sequel Hooligans' Island comes as BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow told the Edinburgh International Television festival that finding a "broad" pre-watershed comedy is her priority.

"Of all the genres, comedy is the hardest to plan for and nurture," she told the festival audience.

She revealed that she is on the look-out for the successor to Miranda, which has moved to BBC One, but disclosed that it was not easy, saying "everyone struggles to find a broad comedy".

However, the controller defended the decision to commission Life's Too Short, which was criticised for making fun of dwarfism.

"Part of BBC Two's remit is to take risks," she explained, adding that comedies should be judged on whether they make the audience laugh.

David Mitchell and Robert Webb David Mitchell and Robert Webb (seen here in That Mitchell and Webb Look) will star in Our Men

She said she felt BBC Two had strong post-watershed comedies, which will be joined by new comedy drama Our Men starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb.

Hadlow also expressed concern about the lack of new programmes in January, when BBC Two will no longer have original daytime programmes.

She said the options to audience, especially during early evening, "will feel very different" due to the Delivering Quality First plans, where the BBC has to save 20% due to the frozen licence fee.

Hadlow made the decision to protect peak-time at the expense of daytime content and said there will still be some new programmes made for the period between the daytime and peak slots.

She said that she was most proud of the channel's drama - the genre only returned to the channel 18 months ago and Hadlow picked out police thriller Line of Duty, which was BBC Two's most-watched new drama series in seven years, as a particular audience-pleaser.

The channel will also show the adaptation to Hilary Mantell's novel Wolf Hall - one of Hadlow's favourite novels from the last two years.

Details of new BBC Two commissions being announced in Edinburgh can be found here.

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