Caroline Aherne 1963-2016
Having written and performed a regular radio slot for many years in Manchester with comedy partner Craig Cash, Caroline made her debut into the world of TV writing for and starring in the hugely successful Fast Show – one of the top-rated BBC comedy programmes of the past six years.
She then went on to co-write and star as the ever-popular Mrs Merton in a spoof chat show (co-written with Craig Cash) featuring guests as diverse as Chris Eubank, Wayne Sleep, Boy George, Vinnie Jones and Sacha Distel. There were four series of Mrs Merton, one of which was filmed in Las Vegas. They were all transmitted on BBC TV to huge critical acclaim, winning a BAFTA for Best Light Entertainment, and continuing to gather BAFTA’s and numerous other industry awards for several years running. Mrs Merton also helped Caroline earn the Best Female Comedy Performer award at the Comedy Awards 1996. Since then they made more Royle Family Christmas Specials including Barbara’s Old Ring which was aired on Christmas Day 2012.
Mrs Merton and Malcolm (BBC1, 1999), a spin-off of the Mrs Merton chat show proved as successful as it’s predecessor.
Caroline’s most successful project, The Royle Family, which she co-wrote and produced with Craig Cash, run for three series on the BBC. This was credited with breaking the mould of UK TV sitcoms becoming one of BBC’s most successful comedy programmes of all time, scooping two BAFTA’s for the second series and numerous other industry awards. The Royle Family Series 3 was nominated for BAFTA in the category of best Situation Comedy in 2000. In both 1999 and 2000 The Royle Family Christmas Specials were screened top of the bill, BBC1 Christmas day. The Royle Family Series 1, 2 and 3 are available on video and DVD (all series videos having sold more than 500,000 copies each already).
In 2003, she was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy.
In April 2006, the BBC announced that Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne were developing a script for a new, one-off special of The Royle Family to be broadcast in the UK later in the year. After 6 years away, the episode, entitled The Royle Family: The Queen of Sheba, was broadcast on October 29th 2006 on BBC1 with nearly 8 million viewers tuning in, winning BAFTAs and RTS Awards to date.