Caroline Aherne

Caroline Aherne: Our Manchester comedy royalty

A headshot of Caroline Aherne, a white woman with blonde hair wearing a blue and black patterned shirt

Fittingly for pantomime season, comedian, actor, writer and director Caroline Aherne was something of a fairy godmother.

In Caroline Aherne: Queen of Comedy, previewed in Manchester shortly before its Christmas Day transmission on BBC Two, Passion Pictures celebrates and explores her private life, exceptional work and legacy.

The story of Aherne’s beginnings on a Manchester council estate, through her first forays on the local stand-up scene, to national stardom is told exclusively by the people whose lives she touched and enriched, personally and professionally.

Comfort Classic: The Royle Family

The cast of The Royle Family sit on and around the sofa in their living room

In the past quarter of a century, few UK sitcoms have been as influential as The Royle Family, the startlingly original and unusually naturalistic comedy that, over three series from 1998 to 2000, mined the mundanity of northern working-class life for BBC Two.

The Royle Family, made by Granada Television, was the precursor of The Office, Gavin & Stacey, This Country and, yes, Gogglebox.