Daisy May Cooper comedy axed after just one season

Thomasine Gooch (Daisy May Cooper) and Gideon Bannister (Tim Key) on horseback in The Witchfinder.
(Image credit: BBC/Baby Cow Productions/Pete Dadds)

The Witchfinder starring Daisy May Cooper and Tim Key has been scrapped after just one series, it has been widely reported.

In a report from The Sun, it was claimed that the decision to scrap The Witchfinder after just six episodes was made on the basis of low ratings. Their source said: "The Witchfinder kicked off with decent ratings but quickly plunged to a level where execs just couldn't justify giving it a second season. 

"It's fair to say the concept was fairly niche so it was always going to be tricky finding an audience, even on BBC Two. But although it won't be coming back, its departure does make way for new comedy projects on the Beeb."

Metro has also written that a source has corroborated the show's fate, reporting that a BBC spokesperson had said: "Sometimes we have to make difficult choices and sadly The Witchfinder won't be returning. We'd like to thank everyone involved in the show."

The six-part comedy series premiered in March 2022 and was created by Neil and Rob Gibbons, the writing duo behind several Alan Partridge shows. Set in the 1640s, The Witchfinder followed failing witchfinder Gideon Bannister (Key) as he set out on a road trip with suspected witch Thomasine Gooch (Cooper) across England so that could well turn his life around by publicly trying her as a witch in Chelmsford. 

Along with Daisy May Cooper and Tim Key, the series also featured a number of other well-known faces from the British comedy scene, including Jessica Hynes (Spaced), Reece Shearsmith (Inside No. 9), Ricky Tomlinson (The Royle Family), Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh) and Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show).

Daisy May Cooper fans need not be too disappointed with the news, though. Whilst The Witchfinder won't be returning, Cooper is due to star in Rain Dogs, a new HBO and BBC drama that revolves around a mother and daughter. The This Country star plays single mother Costello Jones opposite Iris (Fleur Tashjian, in her breakout role).

The Witchfinder is available to stream in full on BBC iPlayer. For more shows to enjoy, you should check out our lists of recommendations including the best BBC comedies and the best BBC dramas you should be watching right now.

Martin Shore
Staff Writer at WhatToWatch.com

Martin was a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produced a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. Now he works for our sister site Tom's Guide in the same role.

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.