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Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
A right Royle arrival
Dave and Jim Royle
Baby Dave with grandfather Jim Royle, played by Ricky Tomlinson
Makers of hit BBC sitcom The Royle Family presented the new member of the cast on Thursday - a bouncing baby boy called Dave.

Brown-eyed Dave, son of the show's Denise Royle and Dave Best, joins Britain's favourite family of couch potatoes for the third series starting on BBC One on 16 October.

He is played by real-life twin brothers, James and Matthew Hughes from West London.

In the last series of the award-winning show, Dave Jr was born on Christmas Day.

Parents Denise and Dave were split over what to call him. Denise, played by Caroline Aherne, went for Keanu - after the Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves.

Dave, played by Craig Cash, preferred to pass down his own name.

In the end, they settled for the father's first name followed by middle names Keanu and Ronan - after the pop star Ronan Keating.

Suspense

Viewers were left in suspense at the end of the last series when pregnant Denise went into labour.

She was rushed off to hospital in a taxi, with the family in tow, after her waters broke in the family's bathroom.

Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne
Parents: Dave and Denise Best, played by Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne

A spokeswoman for the BBC said the new series promised plenty of laughs centred around baby Dave.

"The next series is very funny. Nappies are left on the coffee table for the whole of the first episode. It's disgusting.

"Denise is actually very lazy and it's Dave that does everything."

The Royle Family takes over a newly vacated primetime slot following the shifting of the BBC's main evening TV news bulletin from nine to 10 o'clock.

The show began modestly in 1998 on BBC Two and soon became popular with viewers.

It went on to scoop the best TV sitcom award at the 1999 British comedy awards.

Caroline Aherne - formerly of Mrs Merton fame - won the award for the best comedy actress.

The Royle Family begins on BBC One on 16 October at 2130BST.

See also:

07 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Royle star lands Hollywood role
15 May 00 | Entertainment
A Royle night at the Baftas
09 May 00 | Entertainment
BBC admits Royle mistake
18 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Royles clean up at comedy awards
04 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Meldrew leads BBC ratings charge
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