Caroline Aherne is reportedly in talks to write more specials of The Royle Family following its Christmas success.

BBC bosses are keen to make more of the hit comedy show after 10 million viewers watched this year’s Christmas Day special and The Daily Mirror reports that Caroline and co-star Craig Cash have been offered a deal to write at least two more instalments.

A source said: “We billed this year’s special as a one-off, but Caroline has agreed in principle a deal to create more new specials for next year and the year after.

“It would be great if the new episodes could be screened at Christmas so we could get another quality programme in the schedule each year.”

Caroline and Craig co-write the show and star as couple Denise and Dave Best, with Ricky Tomlinson starring as Denise’s dad Jim Royle.

The cult comedy series began in 1998 and ended in 2000 after three series and three Christmas specials, but the cast were persuaded to reunite for another special episode this year.

Ricky, 69, revealed he was reluctant to return without Liz Smith who played Jim’s mother-in-law Nana, who died in the 2000 Christmas special, but is now keen to make more.

He said: “When they asked if I’d do another one I wasn’t that sure I wanted to do another without Liz Smith. I was close to her. But when Caroline sent the script – wonderful.

“Off the back of this I can see a series. It was so good and I had such a wonderful time.”