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BBC axes Mutual Friends

BBC1 has axed primetime comedy-drama Mutual Friends after just one series.

The Hat Trick show, penned by Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto, was initially planned as a one-off about male friendship featuring comedians Ben Miller and Alexander Armstrong but was later commissioned for a 6 x 60-minute series.

For the series, Marc Warren took over Miller's role and Keeley Hawes and Sarah Alexander joined the cast. It was being considered as a returnable relationship comedy-drama with similar appeal to ITV1's 1990s series Cold Feet.

But it attracted ratings of around 3.5m at 9pm on Tuesdays last autumn, short of the slot's average of 5m last year.

Gupta said that the departure of Peter Fincham, who commissioned the series when he was controller of BBC1, was a further factor in the corporation's decision not to ask for more.

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