The Jennifer Saunders comedy Jam and Jerusalem is to be shelved by the BBC – ending her 24 year partnership with Dawn French.

The show, which took an affectionate look at life in a small village and the closeness of its residents, ran for three series and kept French and Saunders united on screen after they parted company as a comedy double act in November 2008.

“There was just this gradual realisation that maybe there are other things we’d like to do; maybe it’s a young person’s game,” French previously said of the pair’s decision to end their working relationship.

Saunders starred as upper-crust villager Caroline in the programme while French played the factory worker Rosie.

Meanwhile their co-star Pauline McLynn said on her website that the show’s demise was “a blow”.

That was one of toppest jobs ever as far as I’m concerned and it breaks my heart that there’ll be no more.”

She added, “For those of you who were wondering, it was the BBC’s decision not Jen’s – she loved writing that series as much as we loved loved loved being in it.

“I think it would indeed be great if you all complained to the BBC also – it may do no good but at least they’ll know the strength of feeling out there for the show and how poor a decision we all think it is to be rid of it.”