'Ghosts' Christmas special 2021: release date, cast, plot and everything we know

Ghosts Christmas special 2021
Ghosts Christmas special 2021 is going to be a cracker! (Image credit: BBC/Monumental Television/Guido Mandozzi)

The Ghosts Christmas special 2021 promises to be one of the highlights of the BBC’s Christmas TV line-up.

Fans had wondered if there would be any more episodes after Ghosts season 3. And the great news is that there is a festive episode to enjoy. 

The Christmas episode was shot during the making of the third series. And it’s excitingly been revealed that Jennifer Saunders will be part of the cast!

Talking about the show having a festive episode, star Charlotte Ritchie says: “It’s a huge thing for a show we feel so proud of. Knowing how much viewers care about Ghosts is special, for some people it's a family event. That feels right for Christmas.” 

Here’s everything we know about the Ghosts Christmas special….

'Ghosts' Christmas special 2021 release date

The Ghosts Christmas special 2021 will air on BBC1 at 8.30pm on Thursday, 23 Dec. See our Christmas TV guide for more shows to enjoy.

'Ghosts' Christmas special cast

Jennifer Saunders guest starring in the Ghost Christmas 2021 special

Jennifer Saunders guest stars as Lady Button's mother in the festive episode. (Image credit: BBC/Monumental Television/Guido Mandozzi)

All the main cast will be back. Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) will return as the owners of Button House. Martha Howe-Douglas play Lady Fanny Button. Jennifer Saunders gets stars as Lady Button's formidable mother, Lavinia.

Charlotte says about Jennifer: “I didn’t get to meet her so I was gutted. But she’s such an idol. Martha said they were laughing non-stop! It feels like Jennifer has watched Martha's performance and adopted it but also has her own take. It’s so funny! It really shows the origins of Lady Button.” 

Mathew Baynton will return as Thomas Thorne, who briefly switched his affections away from Alison in the most recent series.

Jim Howick will again play loveable Pat Butcher, while Ben Willbond returns as the Captain, who likes to keep everything in military order. 

Plus there will be Katy Wix as Mary, Laurence Rickard as Robin/Humphrey’s Head, Simon Farnaby as MP Julian Fawcett, and Lolly Adefope as Kitty. 

What’s the plot?

Wonderfully, the BBC has now teased some details about the Christmas episode plot... " Kitty becomes convinced that Santa has made an early stop at Button House when Mike and Alison discover a man living in a tent on their grounds. The ghosts' advice on how to deal with him leaves much to be desired, but eventually Mike and Alison learn that they have more to offer this Christmas than they realised."

Kiell Smith-Bynoe, who plays Mike, explains: “They have this unwanted visitor and Mike and Alison have separate ways of dealing with him. Alison wants Nicholas to stay for a bit but Mike isn't keen, and then Alison gets annoyed with Nicholas! They set out to make things right though.”

It will also be interesting to see what guest star Jennifer Saunders gets up to in the festive episode.

Is there a trailer?

Sadly not yet. However, here's some bloopers from the last series to entertain you!

David Hollingsworth

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 working for 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 for 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!