Last Tango in Halifax gets a third series

Last Tango in Halifax The series has been a hit with both viewers and critics

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Award-winning BBC One drama Last Tango in Halifax is to return for a third series next year.

The show's writer Sally Wainwright said: "It's so exciting to be able to take these characters further."

Starring Anne Reid and Sir Derek Jacobi as 70-something couple Celia and Alan, the family saga won a Bafta this year for best drama series.

The third series is expected to air in late 2014. Last Tango also stars Sarah Lancashire and Nicola Walker.

Wainwright added: "I'm so happy we've got a third series.

"What's so great about writing for characters like Celia and Alan is that there is a wealth of back story to explore. Series three will be a whole new emotional ball game."

'Absolute gem'

The drama was inspired by Wainwright's mother, who found love again in later life after the death of her first husband.

The final episode of series two airs on Christmas Eve, with Celia and Alan renewing their marriage vows.

Wainwright's other writing credits include ITV's At Home with the Braithwaites and Scott & Bailey.

BBC One controller Danny Cohen heaped praise on Last Tango in Halifax last year, saying: "Sally Wainwright's scripts and the outstanding cast have unearthed an absolute gem that is captivating audiences of all ages."

The first series aired in the US on the PBS network in the autumn.

The Radio Times reported in October that there was a possibility of a US remake of Last Tango, but it was on hold until the original series had aired in America.

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