R.I.P Shooting Stars

Oddball comedy institution Shooting Stars has been axed by the BBC.

Breaking the news unceremoniously on his Twitter account last night, Bob Mortimer made good use of his 140 characters: “BBC have just cancelled Shooting Stars.”

The show began in full in 1995 with Ulrika (ka-ka-ka-ka) Jonsson and Mark Lamarr as the original team captains. The show also provided a launch pad for the career of Matt Lucas with him keeping score as the oversized baby George Dawes.

In recent years the show faced criticism for its repetitive format and falling audience figures following the panel shake-up, but still managed to retain a dedicated following.

Burger van businessman Angelos Epithemiou joined the show in 2009, pursuing Ulrika’s affections and offering unique perspectives on life.

Jack Dee, “the man with a face like a bankrupt pugâ€?, most recently the joined the team as a team captain.

Audiences will not only have to bid farewell to hosts, but such regulars as the Dove from Above, Vest from the West and Crow from Below.

So what have the BBC got to say for themselves?

A BBC spokesman said: “In the future there will be less space on BBC Two for comedy/entertainment panel shows so sadly Shooting Stars won’t be returning. We’d like to thank Vic and Bob for everything they’ve brought to the channel over the years.”