The final series of Still Game will begin on the opening night of BBC Scotland’s brand new channel, the broadcaster has revealed.
Jack and Victor will be among the first faces on Scotland’s newest television channel when it launches on Sunday 24 February.The countdown to the final farewell of the Craiglang veterans is expected to provide a ratings boost to the £40 million channel, which will feature a mix of news, drama, comedy, sport and factual entertainment.
The BBC has already announced episodes of River City and Scot Squad on the channel, which was been nearly two years in the planning, and chose to postpone a planned autumn broadcast of Still Game after it was announced in July.When the show returned to the nation’s screens after a nine-year hiatus in 2012 it attracted the biggest television audience in Scotland for a decade.
Kiernan and Hemphill have since announced the characters will be also be appearing in a live show at the Hydro in Glasgow later this year.
Kiernan said: “Scotland is where Still Game’s roots began and it’s right the story comes to an end here. From the early beginnings on radio through to TV, we started to build Still Game in Scotland so we’re honoured our show will be part of the launch of a new BBC channel from Scotland. We’re looking forward to our audience joining us at the end of our fabulous adventure.”
Hemphill added: “Jack and Victor are a bottle being smashed on the bow of a beautiful ship and we’re absolutely thrilled to be launching Scotland’s brand new digital channel with the last ever series of Still Game.”
The new channel, announced by BBC director-general Tony Hall in February 2017, was supposed to being broadcasting in the autumn of this year, but was delayed until next February to allow media regulator Ofcom to fully examine the broadcaster’s plans. It will be on air 365 days per year, from 12 noon to 12 midnight.
Steve Carson, head of multi-platform commissioning at BBC Scotland, said: “To have this iconic Scottish comedy launching on BBC Scotland is great news for our audiences and a fitting farewell to the gang that have made the nation laugh for over a decade.
“Ford and Greg are bringing Still Game home to Scotland and we are thrilled to have the final series at the heart of the BBC Scotland channel launch.
“This last series will be a truly fitting send off with twists and turns along the way and life changing surprises in store for our favourite regulars.”