Christmas special, my arse!

Cast, including Ricky Tomlinson who plays patriarch Jim Royle, had already made time to film the show (Picture by Dave Smith)

THE Royle Family will be absent from our TV screens this Christmas after writers Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash were unable to get the script ready in time.

The programme, which netted BBC 1 9.9 million viewers last year, was already in the schedules and cast members had made time to film it.

Caroline and Craig, who play couple Denise and Dave, have now been told to make sure the show goes ahead next year.

An insider said: “Bosses are really disappointed.

“Caroline and Craig had said they would deliver a new script for a Christmas special this year and it had already been scheduled.

“But they just havent got it together in time.

“They are known for leaving things to the last minute but on this occasion they ran out of time. The cast are gutted and viewers will be too.

“Bosses have spoken to them and said they should focus of getting a script together for next Christmas.”

A BBC spokeman confirmed that the show would not be going ahead but said the channel would not be replacing it with a repeat.

He said: ” We will all miss The Royle Family this Christmas but look forward all the more to their next outing on BBC 1.

“The BBC 1 Christmas special is rich with festive treats – form the return of Ab Fab, a new Michael McIntyre show and a Dr Who return.”