Ghosts star Charlotte Ritchie would love US crossover

The cast of Ghosts season 4 gather together behind a mobile phone which only shows an image of the living residents - Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe).
The residents of Button House - living and dead - face upheaval in Ghosts season 4 as the B&B finally opens. (Image credit: BBC)

Ghosts is returning for more spook-tastic laughs in a fourth run of the quirky comedy and star Charlotte Ritchie tells us she'd love a crossover with the US version.

The six-parter, airing from Friday 23 September on BBC One and on BBC iPlayer, sees long-suffering Alison and Mike Cooper, played by Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe, finally open up the B&B in the gatehouse of their haunted stately home Button House.

But, as ever, the resident spooks who live alongside them soon cause havoc. 

We caught up with Charlotte to find out more about Ghosts season 4...

Ghosts is back with a bang! How do Mike and Alison get on with running their B&B?

“They have taken on another challenge to worry about and mess up! It’s a lot of strain and stress but it’s exciting for them and Alison has this mission to get a five-star review, so she's always wondering if the guests are having a good time! But there’s drama too…” 

Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) in a blue checked shirt and Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) in a grey jumper looked stunned at a slice of toast in the Button House kitchen in Ghosts.

Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) and Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) have some shocks in store in Ghosts season 4. (Image credit: BBC)

And are the ghosts not helping?!

“Lady Button [the Edwardian ghost, played by Martha Howe-Douglas] is affronted that Alison, as the lady of the house, is serving other people, this is the biggest indignity to her! For Alison, having a guesthouse is stressful enough, but she also has eight ghosts, who are essentially like children, to keep in check. Alison loses her rag at them, and, as someone who struggles to express anger, it’s fun to scream!”

Are there any new characters or returning faces?

“Mike has some friends who are quite odd! And we have a revisit from Barclay [Alison and Mike’s pompous neighbour, played by Geoffrey McGivern] which I love! He tries to poach Alison’s guests and there's great rivalry. There’s also a nice new ghost who appears in a neighbouring field. The ghosts hadn’t noticed him before, so they’re jostling to speak to him after hundreds of years with just the same people! We also have a fantastic storyline with a big bear…”

Ben Willbond, Jim Howick, Lolly Adefope, Laurence Rickard and Mathew Baynton in peasant smocks and sporting scars and boils as the spectral plague victims in Ghosts.

The spooky plague victims are back in Ghosts season 4 and develop an unhealthy crush on Thomas. (Image credit: BBC)

The ghostly plague victims, all portrayed by the cast who play the main spooks, are also back and have become big fans of Regency poet Thomas (Mathew Baynton), haven’t they?!

“Thomas loves that but The Captain [the World War Two soldier, played by Ben Willbond] can’t understand it. For me, the standout thing is Kitty [the girlish Georgian played by Lolly Adefope] doing Thomas’ PR, it's so funny. It’s a comment on how little people need to do these days to become famous! But it’s great watching these horrific plague victims wandering around on set — when Mat plays his one, he has to take his fake teeth out to have lunch!”

Will we see more of the ghosts’ pasts this time?

“Yes, we see more of Julian [the trouserless politician played by Simon Farnaby] and Robin [the caveman, played by Laurence Rickard] and also Mary [the 17th century witch, played by Katy Wix], when she was burned at the stake. Mary finds her voice and it's really nice, there are beautiful scenes from that era."

What can you tease about the Christmas special?

“There's so much good stuff to come! The Christmas episode is wonderful, it's like a gift if you're a fan of the show.”

The US version of Ghosts has been a big hit too, would you like a cameo?!

“I would! I love the idea of Alison and Mike being there on holiday and Alison saying [to Samantha, her American equivalent played by Rose McIver], ‘Oh my gosh, you can see ghosts too!’ That would be so cathartic for Alison.”

What other projects have you got coming up?

“I'm going back to [ITV drama] Grantchester. Bonnie [the new wife of Reverend Will Davenport, played by Tom Brittney] is such a lovely character and everyone is so nice there. And I've filmed the next series of You, Netflix’s show about a serial killer, that's been quite a new experience for me!”

Caren Clark

Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.

Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.

Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.

In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.