How Did Not Going Out Become The Second-Longest Running British Sitcom?

Lee Mack and Sally Bretton’s BBC comedy is going into its thirteenth series – and Not Going Out is not going anywhere just yet. What’s the secret to this sitcom’s success?

Lee Mack in Not Going Out
Photo: BBC

WARNING: This contains spoilers for Not Going Out

Back in 2015, during a BBC Breakfast interview about series seven of Not Going Out, presenter Bill Turnbull asked Lee Mack: “Did you ever imagine when you first got that pilot that you’d get seven series?” 

“I didn’t think we’d even get a series,” Mack answers incredulously, explaining that even going from script to a pilot episode felt like “the biggest hurdle”. 

And yet, eight years later (17 since the show began in 2006), Not Going Out has now almost doubled its series from seven to 13, still regularly pulling in audiences of over four million, with the newest series arriving on BBC One on Friday 23rd June at 9pm. As ever, the show will focus on Lee Mack as a fictionalised version of himself, alongside his landlady-turned-wife and sparring partner Lucy (Sally Bretton, Beyond Paradise), and their eventful and often farcical life together.


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