My favourite ever sitcom would have to be Only Fools and Horses - it ran for years and years but I can honestly say that whenever I catch an episode on UKTV Gold, I can watch it over and over no matter how often I’ve seen it before.

That’s a rare thing indeed and I’m struggling to think of another TV series which is like that.  I enjoy other comedies like The Vicar of Dibley, but even with it there are times when I turn over as I can remember what happens.  Blackadder is probably the only other show I can think of that I could gladly watch over and over without getting tired of it.

These are all old comedies though, why can’t I think of a new comedy?

I think part of the problem is that with something like Only Fools, there are so many different shows so it’s not the same ones repeated over and over.  Including Christmas specials, Only Fools produced 64 episodes in all so it’s not hard to see why a significant period of time can pass between you seeing the same one again.

Nowadays, the most popular “sitcoms” would have to be The Office and Extras, both seen as Ricky Gervais shows.  He has a wish to end things while they are still on a high and I can understand that, so both of these shows ran for only two series and a Christmas special each - or fourteen episodes in total.  I must admit to having not seen these repeated much yet, but no doubt their time will come, yet with so few episodes to choose from they will never get as much exposure as Only Fools - or if they do then we will seeing the same episodes over and over again!

Now my favourite sitcom at the moment, Gavin & Stacey, seems to be heading down the same route.  With two series under their belts, the writers have indicated that a Christmas special will follow at the end of the year and then that will be it.

Why is it we seem unable to produce comedies that can stand the test of time any more?  Do the writers simply get bored writing the same characters over and over, so want a fresh challenge?  Are the characters we like to watch on TV now not up to the challenge of hanging around for a decade or more without becoming too annoying?

I can see where Ricky Gervais is coming from by prefering to end his shows before they become stale, as it must be hard to guage just when to call it quits on a show if you keep on going for years and certainly by the time Only Fools and Horses came to an end I think it was the best for all concerned!