The Royle Family co-creator Craig Cash has opened up about working with the late Caroline Aherne on a one-off special of the British sitcom before she passed away.


Caroline Aherne: Comedy Queen offers a look at the life and career of the writer and actress, who died in 2016 at the age of 52.

The documentary features contributions from The Royle Family cast, including Cash, who co-wrote the sitcom alongside Aherne and starred alongside her as Dave Best.

In an exclusive clip shared with (above), viewers can see Cash speak at length about his plan to help Aherne get back into writing.

He told the camera: "Caroline moved into this little bungalow and I thought she needs to be writing and working because it's therapy for her.

"So I said we'll do a Royle Family, we'll do a one-off special. We were writing bits of scenes, she was saying, 'I'm not funny,' but knew it was the depression talking.

"But it came to a head when she said, 'Lads, I've lost all my confidence, I'm really sorry. I can't do it anymore.'"

The Royle Family aired for three seasons from 1998 to 2000, before returning for various one-off specials between 2006 and 2012.

In September, the show returned once more, with a refreshed version of its 2010 documentary to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Craig Cash filmed for the documentary Caroline Aherne: Queen of Comedy sitting in a blue jumper, with his arms crossed
Craig Cash filmed for the documentary Caroline Aherne: Queen of Comedy. BBC/Passion Docs/Gus Palmer BBC/Passion Docs/Gus Palmer

Cash continued: "We kept working on it without telling her, and a month later I took her the script and said, 'What do you think of this?' She loved it. It's upsetting me now, thinking about it. She loved it and it kind of ignited something in her again."

Elsewhere in the documentary, Steve Coogan, Jon Thompson, Sue Johnston and producer Andy Harries have all been confirmed to appear, as well as Aherne's other friends and colleagues.

Caroline Aherne: Comedy Queen airs on BBC Two on Monday 25th December 2023 at 10:25pm.

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