My Family: BBC sitcom 'not dropped for being too middle-class'
The BBC axed the long-running sitcom My Family because it had run out of ideas, not because it was too middle class, a senior corporation executive has said.
Danny Cohen, the BBC One controller, insisted the show, at one time Britain’s most popular sitcom, was no longer “fresh” after 11 series and 121 episodes.
Mr Cohen, who became controller in October 2010, dismissed claims made by Zoë Wanamaker, one of the show’s stars, that it was axed for being too middle class.
He insisted its budget was used for the popular BBC drama “Call The Midwife”, which is based on the bestselling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth who worked in East London in the 1950s.
Asked if the show was axed for being too middle-class, the 38 year-old, whose friends include James Bond actor Daniel Craig and his wife, actress Rachel Weisz, replied: “Not true.”
Mr Cohen, the youngest ever controller of BBC One, told the Radio Times, in an interview published on Tuesday: “I’m not saying that someone didn’t tell her that.
“But every comedy reaches the point where it’s not as fresh as it was. The family had fled, they’d left the house.
“There’s only a finite amount of money and, by ending some shows, I freed the money to do Call the Midwife in January. That’s how it works.”
In My Family, Miss Wanamaker, 62, played Susan Harper, long-suffering wife of dentist Ben Harper, played by Robert Lindsay.
At the peak of its popularity, the sitcom was watched by more than 10 million viewers but by its end, was struggling to reach audience figures of five million.