TV bosses seek new Blandings pig
TV bosses are on the hunt for a new pig star after comedy series Blandings was given a second series by the BBC.
The period comedy - based on the novels of PG Wodehouse - will be back for a further seven episodes early next year on BBC One.
Timothy Spall starred as absent-minded Lord Emsworth, while Jennifer Saunders appeared as his sister Connie in the adaptations of the Blanding Castle books.
But the animal which played The Empress - Emsworth's beloved porker - died earlier this year shortly before the end of the first series was screened.
At the time of the death the man charged with her care for production company Mammoth, Noel Johnston, predicted she would be difficult to replace if the show came back.
He said: "She was such an odd, funny-looking pig - if there is a second series they will struggle to find a pig like her."
Writer Guy Andrews, who has adapted the books, said of the series: "As ever, all Clarence wants is to be left in peace with his beloved pig. But events conspire against him as never before.
"His incorrigibly rakish brother Galahad is on the prowl with a glittering monocle and a case full of shocking memoirs. Other guests and impostors include a voracious Hollywood producer, a dancing saxophonist secretary, a leather-gusseted religious maniac, Clarence's frankly terrifying sister Charlotte and - worst of all - the poker-wielding Duke of Dunstable, the rudest man in Shropshire."
The BBC's executive producer, Kristian Smith, said: "I'm so thrilled that audiences young and old have loved Blandings as much as we do."