BBC Four is to re-create missing episodes of classic sitcoms as part of a new series called The Lost Sitcoms.
It has been confirmed that lost episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe and Son and Till Death Us Do Part will be among those that will be remade, although it has not yet been announced which episodes will be re-create
It used to be BBC policy to re-use costly tapes in order to save costs, a policy that continued in some forms until the 1980s. As a result several classic shows have vanished from the BBC archives and there have been constant efforts to try and find any missing recordings. Other classic shows that have missing episodes include Doctor Who and Dad’s Army. Recently one episode of Dad’s Army where only the soundtrack survived, “A Stripe for Frazer”, was re-adapted as an animation.
It is not the first time that the BBC has re-created missing sitcom episodes. BBC Radio 4 broadcast two series of The Missing Hancocks, that re-created 10 missing episodes of the original radio version of Hancock’s Half Hour, starring Kevin McNally as Tony Hancock.
The Lost Sitcoms will be remade in front of a live audience and will be recorded in Glasgow. People can apply for tickets via the BBC website.