Praise the sun, stars and moonah, there’s still one more Ghosts Christmas special on the way. The BBC has confirmed that yes, although series five will be the Button House gang’s final outing, they’re not saying goodbye without also gifting us a 2023 Christmas episode in addition to the six-episode last series.
Filming on the new Christmas special was kept under wraps and not announced until two days before the final series is due to arrive. Catch that on BBC One at 8.30pm this Friday the 6th of October, with all episodes also available as a boxset on iPlayer on that day.
Though the BBC One festive schedules have yet to be announced, if the new festive instalment follows in the footsteps of the 2022 special, then fans can expect it to air in a family-friendly early evening slot on December 25th. Prior to 2022, the Ghosts Christmas specials aired on December 23rd.
No title, guest cast or photos from the 2023 Christmas episode have yet been released, so it’s currently anybody’s guess what the ghosts will be up to this time around. Previous festive specials included the Julian-focused “The Ghost of Christmas,” in which the disgraced and trouser-free MP realised what he’d missed out on by neglecting his family in favour of carousing and womanising during the festive season, while Mike struggled to assert himself and create his own traditions in the face of his family’s Christmas visit.
In the 2021 special “He Came!”, Lolly Adefope’s lovable sop Kitty was convinced that Father Christmas himself was sleeping rough in the grounds of Button House.
And in 2022’s beautiful “It’s Behind You,” the ghosts put on a pantomime for the plaguers.
The pantomime episode was a particularly special one, co-creator and actor Jim Howick, who plays Adventure Club leader Pat, told the audience at the BFI Southbank launch event for series five. When asked about some of his favourite memories of making Ghosts, Howick said:
“What stands out for me is when we made the pantomime episode, because there was a stage on a stage, essentially a set. There was just a fizziness between us, we were all so giddy making that episode, and then we did the reverse, the Plaguers watching the pantomime, I think I’d call that an electric day.”
The dialogue of the Plaguers – plague victims who occupy the basement of Button House, played by the central cast – in that episode was improvised, confirmed Howick. “None of that dialogue was in the script, it was just action in the script. We had such a great morning and it worked so well in the episode.”
The panto episode had been planned for years but the team “felt [they] had to earn the right to indulge [themselves] to that extent,” added Howick. “It was kind of obvious really, from quite early on that the ghosts should do a show because that’s one thing they’re able to do. That was so much fun.”
Bring on Christmas!
Ghosts series five airs on Friday October 6 at 8.30pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.