Last Tango In Halifax hit the air last night and, to the surprise of all involved, became a massive success, getting over 6.1 million viewers throughout its running time and the tale of two pensioners finding love with each other after reconnecting over Facebook, sixty years after their first attempts of romance suffered a setback keeping itself trending on Twitter far past it’s hour slot.
While the execs at BBC One would have hoped that the Derek Jacobi and Anne Reid fronted romantic comedy show would have been a view grabber, it’s success digitally means that it flys in the face of convention and defies the claims we constantly hear from Hollywood that the only romances we want to see feature mid-twenties couples who look like supermodels.
Last Tango proves that if you get people with the class of Derek Jacobi on screens, it really doesn’t matter too much what he’s doing, but people will tune in. Back them up with a stellar cast including the aforementioned Reid, Nicola Walker and Sarah Lancashire and you have the building blocks of something special.
Last Tango also made the most of the winter closing in, by making a truly happy and sweet show with a unique angle of unusual love. In a slot where all of the main channels are offering darker, grimmer dramas (not that we’re complaining or anything), it makes a real difference that BBC One have elected to show something so unconventional and charming.
While the show wasn’t perfect by any reach (it’s dramatic sections involving the pair children being slightly weak), the positive critical buzz and positive word of mouth around the sweet natured show may be enough for it to become the channel’s sleeper hit of the autumn season.
Last Tango In Halifax continues on BBC One on Tuesdays