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Not Going Out Christmas special 2020 - release date, plot, cast and all you need to know

Not Going Out Christmas special 2020
(Image credit: BBC/Avalon/Mark Johnson)

This year's special is set on New Year's Eve as all the gang gather...

The Not Going Out Christmas special 2020 is a comedy highlight of this year’s Christmas TV line-up on BBC1.

It’s especially poignant this year because Bobby Ball, who plays Lee’s feckless father Frank on the show, died aged 76 in October.

When Lee’s dad (Bobby Ball) babysits, it sets in motion a chain of events that culminates in a huge fight between Lee and Lucy, the in-laws and former neighbours Anna and Toby (Abigail Cruttenden and Hugh Dennis).

Bobby Ball as Lee's father in Not Going Out

At the time Lee Mack paid tribute to his Not Going Out co-star. “I’m utterly shocked and devastated to lose my mate Bobby like this. I filmed with him just a few weeks ago and he was his usual funny and cheeky self.”

Not Going Out Christmas special 2020 release date

Not Going Out Christmas special 2018

Of course this isn't the first Not Going Out festive special. Back in 2018 it went out live!

The Not Going Out Christmas special is expected to be broadcast on BBC1 on New Year’s Eve. The BBC has not yet confirmed an exact start time yet.

MORE: Everything you need to know about the Call the Midwife Christmas special

What’s the plot?

We meet up with Lee and Lucy on New Year’s Eve. They’re joined by loveable but useless Frank (Bobby Ball) and pompous Geoffrey (Geoffrey Whitehead), who’s Lucy’s father. Plus Lucy’s mother, Wendy (Deborah Grant) and friends, downtrodden Toby (Hugh Dennis) and uptight Anna (Abigail Cruttenden). Everything goes swimmingly until someone comes up with the bright idea for a new game. This one involves telling each other how they can improve their behaviour. Can you imagine Toby telling Anna how she can improve? Hmmm, we’re sure it’s all going to kick off!

MORE: Everything you need to know about the Doctor Who Christmas special

How long is the Not Going Out Christmas special?

It’s a 30 minute special.

Is there a trailer?

Not yet, watch this space!

The Not Going Out Christmas special is expected to air on New Year’s Eve (please our TV guide for more show to enjoy).

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.


Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 


David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.


Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!