Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne

IT appears Terry Waite has warmed to The Royle Family.

Creators Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash tell tonight how they were worried about offending the former Beirut hostage in their last Christmas Day BBC1 special.

In what’s billed as their first major TV interview together, they recall the Royle quiz in a caravan during The Golden Egg Cup:

THE Royle Family could be heading back to their TV sofa, the BBC confirmed this afternoon.
It was reported this morning that comedy star Caroline Aherne is writing a new script.
While there’s no confirmation of that, the BBC has just told me that The Royle Family may be returning.
“We are in early talks about a Royle Family special but nothing is confirmed,” they said.
If the project goes ahead, it will be filmed in Manchester.
The last one-off special of the award-winning Wythenshawe-set comedy was screened in October 2006.
Almost eight million viewers watched the hour-long film – The Queen of Sheba – which saw the death of Nana, played by Liz Smith.
The script was written by Caroline, who plays Denise, along with Heaton Norris co-star Craig Cash (Dave) and Phil Mealey.

THERE are some people you look forward to interviewing more than others.
The Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson definitely falls into the former category.
Now Ricky, 67, aims to put the record straight about his time behind bars: “I want to clear my name before I die,” he says.
Before his big break as Bobby Grant in Brookside, and later role as Manchester’s Jim Royle, Ricky worked on a building site.
In 1973 he was sent to prison for two years for his part in the national building strike.
BBC1’s One Life: Guilty My Arse highlights his story. He has always insisted he was innocent and the trial was politically motivated.

A final word on last night’s one-off special of The Royle Family, which was watched by 7.8m viewers – the highest audience for a comedy on British TV this year.
Actress Liz Smith, who played Nana, appeared on Channel 4’s The Paul O’Grady Show this teatime.
“I just want to let you see that I didn’t really die last night,” she said. “For a woman who’s just died, I feel quite good.

A day off today – or rather it was meant to be.
So, making no apologies for returning to the subject, just a quick reminder not to miss The Royle Family on BBC1 at 9pm on Sunday.
If you’re going out, don’t. It’s the best thing I’ve seen on TV this year.
Here’s a final taster:

“YOU can’t see it with your eyes, hold it in your hand…this thing called love.”
Johnny Cash says it all in the new one-off episode of The Royle Family, screened on BBC1 at 9pm next Sunday.
It is, quite simply, The Royle’s finest hour. Or as Jim might say: “A bloody great work of genius.”
Writers and associate producers Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash and Phil Mealey have crafted a celebration of life, love and lamination which will have you laughing out loud one minute, and in tears the next.
TV trailers already feature one exchange between pregnant Denise (Caroline Aherne) and mum Barbara (Sue Johnston) involving Denise and Dave’s son Little David, who is now six:

IT was the evening of Thursday September 3 1998. The venue: A screening theatre within earshot of London’s thundering Westway.

I was there to see a brand new BBC2 show, described by channel controller Mark Thompson as “a brave departure from traditional sitcom formats”.

This was the very first press screening of The Royle Family, held in the same week Caroline Aherne had confessed all about her champagne and pills suicide drama that July.

In the wake of the revelations, there was a certain amount of tension in the preview theatre as the cast and media took their seats.

But a smile appeared on Caroline’s face as co-star Ricky Tomlinson broke the ice with a joke about the drink problem which almost killed her.