Graham Linehan, the creator of Emmy-winning sitcom The IT Crowd, says he is crossing his fingers for a fourth series.

The third series of the comedy, starring Richard Ayoade, Chris O'Dowd and Katherine Parkinson, recently finished on Channel 4 and Linehan says he is optimistic about getting the go ahead for a further six episodes.

"We haven't had official word yet but I'm hoping they'll let me do another one," he told

"I feel like we hit our stride with the last series so I'm hoping to get another go."

Speaking at the launch of the atheist advertising campaign, the Father Ted writer admitted the landscape of situation comedy has altered in recent years.

"I think unfortunately we won't see the days of 20 million people around the telly to watch Only Fools And Horses," he explained. "I don't know if the quality is going down."

However, Linehan - an International Emmy winner for The IT Crowd - said an "extraordinary" television series is just around the corner.

"This year it seems to be [BBC1's] Outnumbered which I think is amazing," he told

"It just seems to me if you're patient you'll get another great show. But people are always longing for this golden age that never actually existed."

He added: "I do admit the 90s were good. But even then people would have been saying 'there's nothing on'."

For more information about the atheist advertising campaign, visit,

07/01/2009 01:01:01