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Still Game stars may take their show on the road

THE new Still Game stage show, for which more than 200,000 tickets have been sold, could go on tour in the future, its creators have said.

ambitions: Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan have said their new stage show could potentially tour, after demand exceeded their expectations.
ambitions: Greg Hemphill and Ford Kiernan have said their new stage show could potentially tour, after demand exceeded their expectations.

Ford Kiernan and Greg ­Hemphill also revealed they are in advanced talks with the BBC about broadcasting a new series of the popular comedy and creating new adventures for its characters Jack and Victor.

Speaking ahead of the 21-night run of a staged theatrical version of the comedy at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Kiernan and Hemphill said the Still Game story was unlikely to end there.

Kiernan said the rush for ­tickets had been "insane" and had astonished the writers and performers, who have crafted an entirely new two-hour story.

Hemphill said of a new TV series: "We are not the guys who will be able to say it's coming back - it is the BBC who can say when and where. But we've basically said to them that we'd like to do a series, on the back of how we have written this Hydro show - the wind is in our sails - we want to do a series. So the BBC said OK and went away to think about it: that is where it is at."

Kiernan added: "We are happy to bring it back, but as [Greg] said, the wheels at the BBC turn slowly."

Asked whether the new show could tour, Hemphill said: "I think the answer is 'probably'. But the truth of the matter is that this is such a big project for the two of us, definitely the biggest thing we have done - it feels a bit disloyal to it to be thinking beyond it, so I am focussing on that."

Kiernan added: "It would be amazing to do it somewhere else too, but the reason we are doing it is to bring the cast together back for Glasgow, and for Scotland - this for us is the main event, should there be another Thriller in Manila then we'll have to see."

Hemphill said the initial plan was that the show would have a "best of Still Game" concept but it quickly changed into an entirely new "episode". Audiences will see an original story set in a theatrical format, aided by large screens.

He said: "We started to gather material from the shows and then we thought: 'that's boring' - we wanted to do something new. It grew and grew and grew and every time we wrote, we jettisoned something from the old episodes and we ended up with two hours of brand new material, and there couldn't have been a better feeling because it showed there is still legs in this.

Hemphill added: "Comedy demands the element of surprise - doing a 'best of' would get old quite quick. They can watch that on the DVDs."

Kiernan said the enduring popularity of the show lay in the "recognition factor", where audiences identify with one or all of the characters.

"People always say that I remind them of their fathers or their grandfathers, and we try and keep it as real as possible," he said.

Hemphill added: "When it was on TV we used to get bowled over by the viewing figures, now we are bowled over by the tickets - we were just hoping to sell out those first four nights."

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