Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson starred as sisters on Birds Of A Feather (Picture: ITV)
Birds Of A Feather has been axed by ITV following claims of a bitter fallout between Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson, which have since been rubbished.
The rumour mill started churning after Pauline declined to reprise her role as Sharon Theodopolopodous in the sitcom’s Christmas special last year.
The previously inseparable pair played bickering sisters Sharon and Tracey on the ITV sitcom following the show’s launch in 1989, with Lesley Joseph as their man-loving friend, Dorien.
Running for eight years, the show was later rebooted in 2014 and has returned with periodic specials keeping fans updated on their lives.
It was alleged that over the years, the pair developed ‘real and tense issues’, which resulted in Pauline refusing to take part in the 2019 anniversary show and the 2020 Christmas special.
Despite Pauline’s absence, the Christmas special garnered an incredible 7.9million viewers, giving Linda and Lesley hope that the famous sitcom would be revived.
Running for eight years, the show was later rebooted in 2014
A show source has now informed Metro.co.uk that there are ‘no current plans for a new series’.
According to the Daily Mail, channel bosses don’t see a future if Linda and Pauline don’t reprise their roles as the much-loved sisters.
A source told the publication: ‘Without Pauline, the view is that there is no Birds Of A Feather. You cannot have Tracey without Sharon, and there is no way Pauline will be going back. Things are bad between her and Linda.
‘Linda and Lesley gave it a go but, despite the figures being good, ITV won’t be recommissioning it.’
The pair played bickering sisters Sharon and Tracey (Picture: Fremantle Media/REX)
Linda has previously denied any idea of there being a feud, saying Pauline simply wanted to dedicate her time to other projects.
‘Take no notice of what you’ve heard about me and Pauline falling out. It’s a load of old codswallop,’ Linda told The Sun.
‘Pauline just chose not to do Birds Of A Feather. She wants to concentrate on her acting academy, that’s that.
‘We’ve known each other since we were 10. We’re friends. Will Pauline return to the show? I don’t know.’
A source previously told Mail on Sunday that Pauline had become ‘jealous’ of Lesley’s success as Dorien – a larger than life character whose fast mouth and never-ending stream of conquests became iconically connected to the show.
‘I think Pauline resented the attention that Lesley got and it was very tense and difficult to navigate at times,’ they said.