The Birds of a Feather Christmas Special - Linda and Lesley: 'There's a bit of a crisis!'
It's almost time for the The Birds of a Feather Christmas Special! Sharon, Tracey and Dorien are back as the show returns on Monday 18th December
Birds of a Feather stars Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph reveal why the festive season in Chigwell doesn't go according to plan for Sharon, Tracey and Dorien in The Birds of a Feather Christmas Special...
With Christmas just around the corner, those Birds of a Feather are getting us all in the festive spirit once more with a hilarious feature-length special of the sitcom to be shown on ITV on Monday 18th December.
Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph are back as Sharon, Tracey and Dorien and while you can guarantee lots of laughs, it seems there’s not much festive cheer in Chigwell this time round as Tracey’s got some bad news for her sister Sharon and their leopard-print loving pal Dorien. Could they be homeless this Christmas?
As a pre-Christmas treat, TV Times was invited down to the Prince Charles Cinema in London to watch the audience play-out of the episode – that’s where we provide the laughter you’ll hear on the night!
We also caught up with stars Linda Robson, 59, and Lesley Joseph, 72, to talk more about The Birds of a Feather Christmas Special and why they just love the festive season...
What's happening with Sharon, Tracey and Dorien this Christmas?
Linda: "Tracey wants to sell the house so that she can downsize and give her sons Travis (Pauline’s real-life son Charlie Quirke) and Garth (Samuel James) some money. But it means that a certain two people – namely Sharon and Dorien – might be homeless, which doesn’t go down too well." Lesley: "Dorien meets someone from her past. And there’s a bit of a Christmas crisis when we all get locked in a church crypt! I’m always given the stunts to do." Linda: "Oh yes! Tracey’s got a fear of clockwise spiral staircases, so Dorien has to go up to the bell tower – and she definitely doesn’t look the same when she comes down as she did going up!"
What goes up.... Dorien climbs up the bell tower as Sharon and Tracey look on....
Is Sharon getting into the festive spirit this Christmas?
Linda: "Yes, Sharon gets hold of an electronic ‘personal assistant’ like the Amazon Alexa. We can’t call it that, obviously, so Sharon’s gadget is called Ptolemy. Unfortunately, Ptolemy doesn’t listen to Sharon because it doesn’t understand her, so every time she asks it something it gives the answer: ‘Billericay Tennis Club’ which drives Sharon mad!"
Sharon just loves her new gadget... seems it doesn't love her, though!
Are there any guest stars in the Christmas episode?
Linda: "Yes, Inbetweeners’ actress Emily Atack plays Garthy’s new love interest, Jodie. She’s a homeless busker Garth meets on the street and he then decides he wants to help feed the homeless at Christmas."
So no jetting off to Morocco like last year’s Christmas special?
Lesley: "Not this time. As much as fans said they loved that episode, I think they do prefer the ‘Birds’ to be at home in Chigwell at Christmas, all around the kitchen table with the tree up and everything. Christmas is a family time; these characters are family and what works best are the conversations between these three people who love each other but also hate each other on every level!"
Sharon and Tracey argue like any sisters - and Dorien's always caught in the crossfire!
Do you all like Christmas?
Linda: "I love it. I buy Pauline and Lesley their table centrepiece every year for Christmas. We all meet up in December just before Christmas and have lunch together and bring presents for each other and for our grandchildren." Lesley: "We’re going to treat ourselves to lunch at The Savoy this time. Also, I always send a Christmas card of me doing something as Dorien. This year, I think it might be me on the camel from last year’s Christmas special!"
Fans would love another full series of Birds of a Feather. Is there one in the pipeline?
Lesley: "The thing is, we’ve all been really busy. Last year, I was doing Strictly Come Dancing and I was in the musical Annie and this year I’m doing Young Frankenstein in the West End, so there wasn’t really the time to put a full series in the diary. Next year, though, who knows?"
The Birds of a Feather Christmas Special airs on Monday December 18 at 9pm on ITV.
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With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!
By Grace Morris