Just as a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down*, a touch of creativity helps to pep up otherwise dull administrative tasks. That’s why it’s become a tradition on some film and TV sets to decorate the clapperboards snapped at the top of each shot to synchronise sound and images. It’s a bit of behind-the-scenes fun.
*The advice of a magical nanny, not NHS-approved guidance.
And thanks to the BBC releasing the Ghosts blooper reels each series, and directors Tom Kingsley and Simon Hynd sharing on-set snaps from filming on the fantasy comedy, it’s a bit of fun that Ghosts fans get to share.
As spotted in the series five blooper reel (below) are some beautifully decorated clapperboards containing fond references and gags involving the Ghosts cast. Read on to see the Captain and Havers as Michelangelo’s God and Adam, Thomas dressed as Kylie Minogue, Mike as Rafiki from The Lion King, Alison in Edvard Munch’s The Scream, and more…
Ghosts Season 5 Blooper Reel Feat. Kylie
First up is Charlotte Ritchie’s Alison dressed in the orange jumper and dungarees she wore when she first met the ghosts in series one, episode two. Here, reflecting her frequent sense of frustration and despair at… let’s be honest, probably Thomas, she takes the place of the screamer in Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s famous painting “The Scream”:
And in the series five clapperboard below, Kiell Smith-Bynoe’s Mike is seen atop Pride Rock from Disney’s The Lion King, in the role of wise man Rafiki presenting Simba the lion cub to the assembled animals of the savannah, but instead, Mike is holding aloft baby Mia:
Apologies for the darkness of this screengrab, which appears to show Mathew Baynton’s Thomas Thorne doing the “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” dance from Kylie Minogue’s pop video while wearing a combination of his Ghosts costume and Kylie’s distinctive white-hooded outfit. (Kylie of course appeared in a March 2023 Comic Relief skit along with the cast. Thomas is a fan.)
On Valentine’s Day 2023, what else but a love heart containing the face of Martha Howe-Douglas’ Lady Stephanie Button, inscribed with the legend “I love Fanny.” So say we all. One to take to the tattoo artist and preserve for all time?
Jim Howick‘s Pat Butcher, seen below on horseback in an American desert, wearing a cowboy hat and swinging a lasso forming the word ‘Ghosts’ – a hint to his country and western line-dancing expertise and habit of dropping into an American accent at times of acute stress perhaps?
A Kitty-cat slate here, featuring Lolly Adefope as Kitty Higham, dreaming of pineapple (the treacherous fruit that led to her death) and surrounded by cats:
This one’s a special birthday slate for series five director Simon Hynd. It features Larry Rickard‘s poor Humphrey having his head sliced off by a pair of decorative swords, as seen in a series four flashback, accompanied by the title of Kitty’s series five TV obsession “Is It Cake?”
A Horrible Histories crossover below, featuring Simon Farnaby (as Julian) facing Simon Farnaby (as Death) from the CBBC comedic history show on which the Ghosts gang originally met. Disgraced MP Julian will be explaining to Death that he expired in somewhat scandalous circumstances involving his secretary. But will he be allowed to enter the afterlife?
And finally, the beauty of the lot. As used in the series five episode “Carpe Diem”, which told The Captain’s death story, this board gives us The Cap and Havers as God and Adam in a version of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam” – as seen on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. A fittingly epic tribute to James and Anthony‘s tragic love story.
Ghosts series one to five are available to stream on BBC iPlayer in the UK.