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When Miranda met Gary

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On the 30 September 2012 I was invited over to BBC TV Centre to watch the recording of the fifth episode in the new series of Miranda. Having been to previous recordings in TV Centre I knew what to expect, not least the very funny warm up guy, yep, there are some funny ones out there Ray Peacock who kept the audience awake and laughing throughout the very long recording.

However, more importantly than just the experience of watching the episode live, was the eagerness to see what Miranda Hart had in store for her much anticipated return.

After a very successful two series on BBC Two the move to BBC One must have been very daunting for Miranda as she knew that as soon as she returned the world and his wife would be tuning in to watch, which is probably why she waited so long.

And Miranda would have been right, as close to 10 million people tuned in on Boxing Day to watch her triumphant return in a Christmas special and ratings continued in to the 7 and 8 million marks which for today is brilliant figures.

So, back to the recording, sat in the row next to me was Tamzin Outhwaite (EastEnders) and former All Saint Nicole Appleton who had also been invited along to watch. Tamzin of course was there to support her husband Tom Ellis, who plays Miranda's "will they won't they" friend Gary in the sitcom.

Before the recording there were whispers about a 'special celebrity cameo' who apparently was a 'very big name'. Nobody of course had a clue that it would turn out to be none other than Gary Barlow. Yes, him from boyband manband Take That and that ITV reality show you might have heard of - The X Factor.

In fact, as soon as famous chef Raymond's Blanc stepped into Miranda's shop, rumours of a 'very big name' were put to bed as we had all thought Raymond was that name.

How wrong were we? Gary Barlow is referenced throughout the episode as Stevie's crush, however it's not until towards the end of the episode that Penny, played by Patricia Hodge, announces the latest person to attend the opening of Gary's (the other one) restaurant, Mr Gary Barlow - cue hysteria from the audience.

As an avid tweeter I couldn't wait to tweet about it, however then came this from Miranda: "You know that reaction you had when Gary walked on? We want that for the fans, so please don't spoil it. Don't tweet about it. We don't want this getting out. Thank you very much."

Disappointment. But I could absolutely understand where she was coming from and obeyed her wishes however it wasn't long until the story had leaked to the press, and in November, a BBC spokeswoman said that Gary Barlow would play himself in an upcoming episode and will "get friendly in an unexpected way".

When the news broke of the leak I thought back to what Miranda had said that night and started to feel a bit bad that the story was out there, sure, I wasn't to blame, but think of how much a reaction Gary Barlow's would have made if nobody knew it was coming?

However "...an unexpected way." kept fans wondering what would happen. That was until January 10th photos leaked that revealed that Miranda would be planting a great big smacker on Barlow's lips. *Sigh*.

There was however one thing that stayed secret... until now. That final exchange between Miranda and Gary (the original one) where she FINALLY declares her undying love for him. Long overdue? Perhaps, but the moment was special nonetheless.

So, with Series 3 almost at an end we bring our attention to Series 4. Will there be one? Tom Ellis seems to think there won't be when he told the Sunday Mirror: "I don't think Miranda wants to write any more after this series. It might change, and maybe there might be the odd special, but everyone has other projects."

To which Miranda responded on Twitter with this: "Mr Ellis is not necessarily right that there will be no more shows. Tom Ellis are you trying to put me out of work?!"

So there we have it, we're nowhere nearer to finding out whether or there will indeed be a fourth series. However the good news is that she hasn't ruled it out. One thing that is certain though is that with a second book on the way AND a stand up tour confirmed for 2014, Miranda Hart will be a very busy woman and it could be some while yet before we see Miranda Series 4.

Needless to say that the BBC will be very eager to get Miranda back on our telly sooner rather than later as she is by miles one of the most popular talents for the channel. Her and that very funny cross-dressing man from Ireland who calls himself Mrs Brown. Oh and how could I forget the great big episode finale. A cast, crew and audience sing-a-long to Take That's Back For Good with Gary Barlow himself. Well... I'm guessing that's how Gary finishes every job he does.