Gay sitcom Vicious gets second series

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ITV sitcom Vicious, featuring gay actors Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi, has been recommissioned for a second series.

The show received mixed reviews when it aired for six episodes during April and May.

Several TV commentators criticised Vicious for pandering to old fashioned gay stereotypes

In June, comedian Barry Cryer branded it “positively homophobic”.

“With two great actors in Sir Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi it should be fantastic. But it was insult, insult, insult every other line. You don’t believe in them. You don’t like them, for a start. It was positively homophobic! It made John Inman look restrained,” he said.

However, writing in the Guardian earlier this year, Ben Summerskill, chief executive of gay rights charity Stonewall, said Vicious represented progress for gay representation on TV.

Created by Will and Grace writer Gary Janetti and award-winning playwright Mark Ravenhill, Vicious sees Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi play Freddie and Stuart, a bickering gay couple who have been together for 50 years.

Vicious made a promising start with about 6 million viewers in April, but audiences dwindled to half that figure over subsequent Monday nights.

A Christmas special has already been confirmed for December.