Craig Charles hopes Red Dwarf crew can make space for arena tour

Boldly going... on stage?
Boldly going... on stage?
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Craig Charles is keen to take hit sitcom Red Dwarf on a Monty Python-style arena tour for its 30th anniversary next year.

The actor, who has starred as low-ranking crew member Dave Lister in the sci-fi comedy series since its inception 29 years ago, said the cast are happy with how it has been received by audiences and critics in recent years.

He said they are also hoping to make more episode, but getting the cast together to write is currently a scheduling issue.

Charles told the Press Association of possible plans for the landmark anniversary, saying: "We want to do a tour, a kind of Red Dwarf stadium tour, like Monty Python did, which would be great.

"I think we want to film more episodes, the reboot went so well - we just won the comedy award for best comedy and best returning comedy - it's been so well-received, we just want to make more episodes."

But for Charles - who has signed up for a 36-week run as the new host of The Gadget Show - and his co-stars, clashing schedules means this could prove difficult.

Along with Charles, the returning main Red Dwarf cast members include Danny John-Jules (Cat), Robert Llewellyn (Kryten) and Chris Barrie (Rimmer).

Charles said: "We've got to write (the episodes) first. It's hard to get us all together in the same room, we're all doing different things.

"Danny's off doing Death In Paradise and Robert's off doing programmes about batteries.

"I had to leave Coronation Street to make these two new series of Red Dwarf."

The series, which tells the story of the survivors on spaceship Red Dwarf three million years in the future, first hit TV screens in 1988 and ran until 1993, returning again in 1997 for a couple of years.

It was rebooted in 2009 for a mini-series and returned for a full series in 2012. The 11th series was released last year, and the 12th is out later in 2017.

Charles admitted it felt "old" to learn one of his new colleagues on Channel 5's The Gadget Show - tech journalist Georgie Barrat - was not born when Red Dwarf made its debut.

He said: "Red Dwarf is 29 and Georgie Barrat is 27. She wasn't even born when the first series went out.

"I felt so old."

:: The new series of The Gadget Show airs on Friday at 7pm on Channel 5.