The BBC’s award winning comedy, As Time Goes By, starring Dame Judi Dench, is to return to the screens with a new series, the corporation announced today.
The show, which also stars Geoffrey Palmer, will return in the New Year for its ninth series.
The programme, which tells of a middle aged couple who rekindle their teenage romance after a chance meeting, won an army of fans when it first hit the screens in 1992.
Dame Judi won the best comedy performance BAFTA award for her portrayal as Jean Hardcastle in 1998.
Lorraine Heggessey, Controller of BBC1, said: ‘‘We welcome back the nation’s favourite actress to BBC1 in what has proved to be one of the most enjoyable and entertaining sitcoms.’’
The BBC will also be screening a BAFTA tribute to Dame Judi during which she received The Academy Fellowship, the highest accolade bestowed by the body.
Her latest film, Iris, about the life of writer Iris Murdoch, will also be released in January.
She celebrated her 67th birthday earlier this month at the end of a year marked by the death of her husband and fellow actor Michael Williams.