Stars out for return of Dallas
Stars of the classic US soap opera Dallas have been reunited in London to mark the arrival of a new series to UK television screens.
The date of the first episode of the revamped 1980s drama is expected to be announced today, which will see the return of former stars Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray, with Larry Hagman reprising his role as JR Ewing.
The Dallas cast gathered in central London last night for the UK launch of the 10-part series about the struggles of the oil-rich Ewing clan, which is set to air on Channel 5 next month.
Jesse Metcalfe, who found fame as hunky gardener John Rowland in Desperate Housewives, said the popularity of his former show influenced the decision to bring Dallas back to the screen.
Jesse, who plays Christopher Ewing in the new Dallas series, said: "I think Desperate Housewives definitely took its cue from the original Dallas. There's no doubt about that.
"But I think that Desperate Housewives in some respects is responsible for reopening the door for more scripted drama and more night-time soap operas."
Dallas was a huge hit three decades ago when it was shown on BBC One as viewers were gripped by the rivalry between brothers JR and Bobby, played by Patrick Duffy. The famous "Who shot JR?" storyline caused a buzz around the world.
Patrick said of Dallas' return: "There's so much reality television and so many musical contests. This is good old-fashioned drama. It's 'sit on the edge of your seat' kind of fun. I think people need to have fun and not root for somebody to be eliminated.
"We're being relaunched in the UK because we were really launched here 30 years ago. You guys adopted us and said we were your favourite show. Then all of a sudden we were an international success."
Asked whether JR was television's most famous villain, Larry Hagman said: "Of course he is. He's the top."