Still Game: Jack and Victor to make a comeback
- 23 October 2013
- From the section Scotland
One of Scotland's most popular sitcoms is to make a comeback with a run of live shows at Glasgow's Hydro arena.
Scottish comic actors Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill split their successful partnership when hit show Still Game finished its TV run in 2007.
However, they have announced a reunion for a live stage show that will run for four nights at the 12,000 seat arena in September and October 2014.
They say they are talking to the BBC about the show returning to TV screens.
Meetings are planned for next week, the pair said.
The four live shows will take place at the Hydro from 30 September to Friday 3 October next year.
Tickets will go on sale on Friday.
Forty four episodes of Still Game were broadcast over six series from 2002.
In the show, Keirnan and Hemphill played Jack Jarvis and Victor McDade, two foul-mouthed pensioners spending their days disreputably in the fictional Glasgow housing scheme of Craiglang.
They will be reunited with their friend Winston (Paul Riley), local busybody Isa (Jane McCarry), corner shop owner Navid (Sanjeev Kohli) and Boabby the barman at The Clansman (Gavin Mitchell) for their "exciting new venture".
Kiernan and Hemphill, still only 51 and 43, are much younger than the characters they portray, despite a decade having passed since they first donned their flat caps and cardigans.
The pair, who had previously had massive success with their sketch show Chewin the Fat, blamed the pressure of work for bringing their professional relationship and hit sitcom to an end.
Keirnan told BBC Scotland: "We'd done 10 years together. The two of us had been together longer than the Beatles and we were frazzled."
"It's been six long years of answering questions from people - Will you bring it back? Why is it not on telly anymore?"
He said he and Hemphill had both separately looked at the 12,00-seat Hydro and been "taunted" by the possibilities of performing there.
Keirnan said: "They built this place and we thought we'd be missing a trick if we did not have a stab at that big building.
"This volume of place did not exist when we were playing before."
Hemphill added: "We have never had a chance to bring Still Game fans together. We did Chewin the Fat at the Kings Theatre and it was a highlight for us."
The characters of Jack and Victor were created in 1997 and appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe as well as touring theatres around the UK and in Canada, where Hemphill had spent a large part of his childhood.
The characters were said to be based on Kiernan's uncle and Hemphill's grandfather.
The original stage production saw the three friends stranded in Victor's flat, where they discuss a range of topics from death to sex.
When Chewin' The Fat ended in 2002, Kiernan and Hemphill gave the irreverent oldies, who had been used in the sketch show, a new lease of life in their own sitcom.
The show proved so popular that top names such as Robbie Coltrane, Lorraine Kelly, and John McCririck made appearances.
However, the show ended at the top its game and there were report that the comedians had not spoken since their split.
Keirnan said the pair had "bumped into each other" from time to time.
"Our kids are at the same school and we live in the same area and it built gradually without us really noticing," says Keirnan.
"Eventually you come to the conclusion, if so many people are asking for it, why are we not doing it?"
Hemphill said the "reunion" was a new start for the characters and they hoped to do more with them after the shows.
"It would be great to be doing these characters in 10 or 15 years time," Hemphill says.
"There is no reason why we can't continue for years to come.
"The show is unique in the sense that we are young guys growing into our characters."
Keirnan agreed, saying: "It is a bit like Oor Wullie. He's eternally 10 and we are eternally 73, but with a little bit less make-up each year."