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Still Game stars in write frame of mind for new stage shows

ACTORS Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan have started writing the script for their Still Game comeback.

However, they do not seem to have got very far after Hemphill showed off a picture of the front page of the script and appealed for fans to send them jokes.

The pair are working on new material for the run of 21 shows at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow, later this year.

Hemphill put a photo of the script's front page on a computer screen with the words 'Still Game Live at The Hydro by Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill' written on it. The 44-year-old jokingly added: "Anyone know any good jokes?"

The post on Twitter, the social networking site, confirmed the shows would go ahead despite the death last month of Kiernan's 12-year-old son.

The comedy pair had planned to start working on the script last month but it was put on hold following Sonny Kiernan's death.

He was found at the house where he lived with his father, mother Lesley, 44, and 14-year-old sister Kaye in the west end of Glasgow.

The script announcement delighted fans of the duo's pensioner characters Jack and Victor. They soon bombarded Hemphill's Twitter account with ideas for jokes and dialogue.

The stage version of the popular BBC television comedy was originally planned to run for just four shows, but a huge demand for tickets has resulted in 21 performances being programmed for the 12,000-seater venue in September.

Ticket sales have topped £10 million. On the first day of their sale, more than 100,000 were sold, with demand leading to the temporary collapse of the venue's online box office.

Speaking in December, Kiernan told how he had been delighted at the response from fans who snapped up tickets in record numbers.

He said: "We always knew there was an appetite for Still Game, but it seems the demand is insatiable.

"Greg and I have already started putting together ideas for the show and speak every day, but we will be working on the backbone of it from January."

The characters of Jack and Victor were created in 1997 and appeared at the ­Edinburgh Fringe and toured theatres around the UK and in Canada, where Hemphill spent a significant part of his childhood.The comedy was a hit on the BBC over six series and specials until 2007.

Announcing its return earlier this year, the pair said they had healed the personal split between them that led to the show leaving television after five years.

The cast from the television show will appear in the new production. Winston will be played by Paul Riley, Isa by Jane McCarry, corner shop owner Navid by Sanjeev Kohli and Boabby, the barman at The Clansman, by Gavin Mitchell.

Kiernan and Hemphill have said they will also be talking to the BBC about bringing the show back on to television.

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