Page last updated at 16:02 GMT, Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Amanda Holden circus drama Big Top axed

Big Top
The series also featured John Thompson and Tony Robinson

Amanda Holden's circus sitcom Big Top has been cancelled by the BBC after just one series.

The show, revolving around the performers of a travelling circus, also starred John Thomson, Tony Robinson and Ruth Madoc.

But it struggled on ratings, with 3.4 million viewers tuning in to the first episode, falling to less than 3 million despite its prime 1930 slot on BBC One.

A spokeswoman for the show confirmed it had not been re-commissioned.

"Big Top was great fun to make - a wonderful cast," said Marcus Mortimer, a producer at Big Bear films who made the series.

"We're sad the audience didn't come to it as we might have hoped," he added.

The show also failed to wow the TV critics, who were unkind in their reviews.

The Stage said the jokes were "limp and lumbered with punchlines Nostradamus probably saw coming", while The Observer called it "unashamedly lame".

The Times' Caitlin Moran added: "Were the awfulness of Big Top rendered into miles, we could use it as a bridge to the Moon."

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