MUCH LOVED: Comedians (l-r) Tameka Empson, Llewella Gideon, Maureen Hibbert, Judith Jacob, Donna Spence, Leo Muhammad and Felix Dexter starred in a Real McCoy reunion show in 2008
FIRST and foremost folks, a big thanks to all of you who have sent in emails of support for our ongoing campaign.
We know from your messages just how important this issue is. And it’s not just about bringing back The Real McCoy, but also ensuring that our voices are heard in the wider debate about black representation on television.
Just recently, it was announced that popular Asian comedy The Kumars, which enjoyed success on the BBC, will be returning to our screens later this year, courtesy of Sky1. With this in mind, it seems perfectly plausible that The Real McCoy, which remains so loved by many in the black British community, could also make a return to our screens – or, at the very released, be released on DVD.
Yes, it is also hugely important for new black-interest dramas/comedies to be commissioned. But The Real McCoy – which aired on the BBC from 1991-1996 – is a ready-made show, which is sitting idle in the vaults of the BBC.
The Real McCoy has also spawned so many reunion shows, with previous cast members taking to the stage to perform live, reworked versions of the show.
So surely, with the show being in such huge demand, it’s worth repeating it on one of the BBC channels, or commissioning it to be shown by another broadcaster, or – as previously mentioned – releasing it on DVD?
We recently spoke with a BBC insider who was involved with The Real McCoy 21st anniversary event that took place at the BBC earlier this year. They confirmed that discussions are being had about reviving the programme.
“There are talks going on, so we’ll have to wait and find out [the result],” our insider told us.
Also addressing the rumour that much of the programme has been deleted from BBC archives – a rumour that was dismissed by Sam Hodges, the Head of Communications for BBC Vision, who told us earlier this year, “I can confirm The Real McCoy hasn't been wiped” – our insider said that “some” of the episodes are in the BBC’s archives.
They added that footage that was shown at the recent 21st anniversary event was taken from episodes that are in the Beeb’s archives.
“We’ve heard all of that,” our source said of the rumour that the programme has been wiped. “There is stuff there. Some of it is there. It was all archive stuff that was in the vault [which was shown at the event] and some of it took time to get. But the progammes that we took the clips from, they’re there.”
So come on folks, keep your emails coming or contact the BBC directly in order to keep this campaign going. As our insider said: “A few calls to the Beeb might wake them up a bit.”
Here’s what a few of you have said so far:
I am writing to support the campaign to bring The Real McCoy back to our TV screens. This programme was such an integral part of not only my life but to thousands of others at that time. The comedy sketches were all hilarious, along with delivering a conscious message. I can safely say the viewing figures for The Real McCoy will justify its attraction.
Adrian ‘Real McCoy Fan’ Bryan, via email
This show needs to come back ASAP. I don’t even watch TV anymore unless it’s American TV. We need to see more of our brothers and sisters on TV.
Rennie, via email
BRING IT BACK!: The cast of The Real McCoy
Please return The Real McCoy series to TV or release the series on DVD. Thank you.
Morris and Barbra Simpson, via email
Bring it back, yes!
Dawn Grant, via Facebook
Yes, I loved the musical number they did at the end of every show, and Mr Frazier!
Novelette Phillips, via Facebook
Yes, bring it back. I tend to watch them on YouTube. There is also a Real McCoy page on Facebook. So make your voice heard!
Sharon Franklin, via Facebook
It’s almost a crime not to bring The Real McCoy back. It showcased such brilliant writing. We just want jokes – our own kinda jokes.
Jonnie Jonnisin, via email
I've just read your article on potentially reviving The Real McCoy and think it would be brilliant. There are only a few shows based on black culture that don't portray black people as fatherless, murdering, drug dealers. It would be refreshing to not see ourselves in a negative light and it would help to remove some of the stereotypes other nations believe to be true as well. It was such an incredibly funny show and I have many fond memories of sitting with my parents and siblings as a young boy watching it on a Friday night.
Sillkey Music, via email
Please please please release the The Real McCoy on DVD. It is one of the best comedy shows ever that captured a wide audience from all different backgrounds. So I’m sending this email on behalf of many fans of the show. Please put it on DVD so we can watch it again and again.
Pamela Miller, via email
I fully support the campaign to release this series on DVD, it is way overdue. I have read a couple of comments regarding the loss of these tapes by the BBC; I hope that these are just rumours and that they can provide us with this show ASAP.
Dee Potter, via email
Please bring back The Real McCoy. Thank you in advance.
Ms Grant, via Voice Online
I would like to see this or another show with comedy and ethnic culture.
Leona Day, via email
I would love this show to come back and I know many other people want the same. This show should have been made available on DVD ages ago. It should not take a massive campaign for the BBC to recognise this. The whole series should be released on DVD without any more delay and when this happens, it should never be discontinued, as we are a part of British history just like anyone else.
Jason Yates, via email
If you’d like to see The Real McCoy repeated released on DVD, email your support to: