Ronnie Barker's spirit present during Porridge filming
26 September 2017 - 5:00 PM

Ronnie Barker's spirit present during Porridge filming

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onnie Barker's presence was felt on the set of the new "Porridge" series.

Kevin Bishop - who portrays the late comedian's character Norman Stanley Fletcher's son Nigel "Fletch" Fletcher in the remake of the BBC1 show - imagined the British TV legend, who passed away from heart failure in 2005, was there judging his acting, in order to make him proud.

The 37-year-old actor admits he was skeptical about taking on the role at first, because of how iconic Barker was.

He told the Daily Star newspaper: "My feeling doing this way always: "If Ronnie were watching this, would he be thinking it's done well?"

"It's big shoes to fill. I thought a revival might not be a good idea.

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"But since it's written by the original writers, if you like "Porridge" you should like this."

Fletch starred in a successful pilot episode of the comedy spin-off.

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The show will see Fletch behind bars in Wakeley Prison after committing a number of cyber crimes.

Mark Bonnar is expected to make a return as Officer Meekie, along with Ralph Ineson and Dave Hill as inmates Richie Weeks and Joe Lotterby respectively.

Original "Porridge" writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have penned the script for the new series.

They said in a statement previously: "We're in a state of disbelief that Porridge is coming back after all these years but Kevin Bishop is a worthy successor to Ronnie Barker. So even though we feel like recidivists, we're more than happy to go back inside."

Kevin is incredibly proud that the one-off episode has been extended for a full six-part series.

He said: "It was an honour to be asked to play Fletch although I never thought it would go further than just the one off homage. To be welcomed back by Porridge fans and the BBC to make a full series, is one of the proudest moments in my career. Dick and Ian are true sitcom masters and I know they're going to write a brilliant series."

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