Ghosts Christmas Special

UK 2022, 30 mins
Director: Simon Hynd

We are pleased to welcome the following guests for a Q&A following tonight’s screening: Lolly Adefope, Mathew Baynton, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard, Charlotte Ritchie, Kiell Smith-Bynoe and Ben Willbond. The event will be hosted by the BFI’s Justin Johnson.

It’s Christmas at Button House, and Mike and Alison are heading to Mike’s parents to celebrate with family. Alison promises the Ghosts that they’ll be back by the evening and lets them know that each has a Christmas surprise in the Library. The Ghosts are touched and inspired to give Alison a special Christmas present to remember – but can they pull off their ambitious idea in time? The hit comedy show follows up its fourth series with this special Christmas episode. We will also be screening the 2020 Christmas episode The Ghost of Christmas.

Lolly Adefope is an award-winning character comedian and one of the most exciting comedy actors to emerge from the UK in recent years.

Lolly’s extensive broadcast credits include starring in Ghosts (BBC) for which she was nominated for a National Comedy Award, Shrill (Hulu), Miracle Workers (TBS), This Time with Alan Partridge (BBC), Chivalry (Channel 4), and Taskmaster (Dave Channel). Lolly has written and starred in her own short Sorry for the BBC, which was broadcast to great acclaim. She previously wrote and starred in her authored Sky short film – Lolly Adefope’s Christmas – which was nominated for a Broadcast Digital Award. Lolly co-stars in the feature films: The Spy Who Dumped Me and Mission: Impossible – Fallout and will co-star in the upcoming film Seize Them.

Her solo, multi-character live shows have garnered 5-star reviews and led to sell-out runs at both the Edinburgh Festival and London’s West End. Lolly was included in the Elle List’s 2019 50 Game-Changers of Now; The Evening Standard’s 2019 and 2018 Progress 1000 (the annual list of influential Londoners); and voted The Observer (newspaper) Rising Star of Comedy. Lolly contributed a short story to the award-winning book, Feminists Don’t Wear Pink, and has written pieces for The Guardian. She is currently developing her own broadcast and literary projects.

Mathew Baynton is an RTS award winner and multiple BAFTA and British Comedy Award nominee.

He co-created The Wrong Mans, Yonderland and Ghosts. His other television work includes Quacks, You, Me and the Apocalypse, Inside No.9, Peep Show, Gavin & Stacey and The Split. His film credits include Bill, The Falling and Wonka, which is due for release in 2023.

Martha Howe-Douglas is a BAFTA-nominated, English actress and writer, best known as a member of the British Horrible Histories troupe in which she starred in the TV series Horrible Histories and both starred in and co-created Yonderland and BBC One’s successful comedy, Ghosts.

Martha graduated from RADA in 2003 and in the same year she appeared in the Christmas Special of The Office, replacing Dawn as the receptionist at Wernham-Hogg. She also played receptionist Donna Parmar in the BBC One daytime soap Doctors and undertook the role of Becky in BBC One’s hit show, Dr Foster.

She has appeared in Breeders (Sky1), BBC 2’s Motherland and is the voice of Pat Pat (and others) in Noddy Toyland Detective.

Jim Howick is a BAFTA-winning actor best known for writing and staring in BBC One’s hit sitcom Ghosts, and playing Mr Hendricks in Netflix’s hit show Sex Education.

A cast member of the multi award winning Horrible Histories, Jim co-created and starred in the acclaimed sitcom Yonderland with the same troupe.

Jim has undertaken many prominent roles for television including Gerard in Peep Show, Paul in Here We Go and Aaron Mayford in the BAFTA-winning ITV drama, Broadchurch.

Laurence Rickard is a BAFTA-winning comedy writer and actor, best known for the hit BBC1 sitcom Ghosts and the critically lauded sketch show Horrible Histories.

A graduate in Film, TV and Drama, Larry has worked in the industry for 20 years, with credits which encompass both mainstream comedy (Tracey Ullman’s Show, Armstrong & Miller, Psychobitches, Murder in Successville) and high profile family shows (Jim Henson, Disney, CBBC). He was a principle writer and star of the historical sketch show Horrible Histories, which has won more than 20 major awards, including two National Comedy Awards, four successive BAFTA’s (a Guinness World Record) and the Prix Jeunesse for the best children’s show of the last 50 years.

Following this, he continued to work with his Horrible Histories co-stars, creating the acclaimed fantasy sitcom Yonderland, which ran for three series on Sky 1, with Larry as showrunner. His move into features began by co-writing and starring in the movie Bill, a comic take on Shakespeare’s missing years, described as ‘the funniest movie this year’ (The Sun) and ‘a crowd pleasing treat’ (Mark Kermode, The Observer). This led to work on such films as Paddington 2 and Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep and Chicken Run sequels.

In 2019 the sitcom Ghosts was launched on BBC1, with Larry as co-creator, writer and star. It received a glowing critical reception, quickly becoming the most watched comedy on UK television, and is now in its fourth series. The show plays on HBO Max in the US, with its American remake now the most watched comedy on US television.

In addition to ongoing Ghosts duties, Larry has written commissioned feature scripts for companies including Aardman Pictures and BBC Films, and on TV projects for BBC, Channel 4, HBO and Showtime. His new feature-length comedy We Are Not Alone, co-written with Ben Willbond, recently debuted on UKTV, and was described as ‘Terrific (Sunday Times) and ‘Hilarious (Daily Mail).

Charlotte Ritchie is an actress known best for her roles as Oregon in Fresh Meat (C4) and Nurse Barbara in Call the Midwife (BBC). Charlotte currently plays Alison in Ghosts (BBC), and has recently starred in the second series of the award winning comedy drama Feel Good (C4/NETFLIX) as George.

Charlotte previously starred in the BBC sitcom Siblings as Hannah, and as Alison in the comedy Dead Pixels (C4). Other comedy roles have been in Raised by Wolves (E4) and Stath Lets Flats (C4). She has just wrapped in series 8 of Grantchester (ITV) and in the new series of the thriller You (Netflix).

Kiell Smith-Bynoe is an actor and writer most known for BBC One comedy Ghosts and Stath Lets Flats, he’s also featured in many of the UK’s best comedies such as Man Like Mobeen, Bloods, Enterprice and Friday Night Dinner. Next year he stars as the male lead in Sky’s Dreamland. Kiell’s original sketch show Red Flag has just been released on Channel 4 and his other writing credits include The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan for Channel 4, Munya Chawawa’s Race around Britain and both series of award-winning
BBC Three’s Enterprice. Kiell has just been announced on the line up for Series 15 of Taskmaster.

Ben Willbond is an actor, screenwriter and producer, best known as one of the original cast members of the multiple-award-winning children’s TV show Horrible Histories (CBBC/BBC1).

He appeared in five series of the programme and performed in the Horrible Histories BBC Proms Live at the Royal Albert Hall. With the team from Horrible Histories, Ben went on to co-write and star in three series of family adventure fantasy Yonderland (Sky 1) which was nominated for a Rose D’Or Award, and feature film Bill. Following these successes, the team went on to co-write the hugely popular BAFTA-nominated primetime comedy Ghosts (BBC1) in which Ben stars as the character Captain. Ghosts starts filming a fifth series in 2023.

Ben has just launched a new venture with co-writer Laurence Rickard, We Are Not Alone, which aired on Dave (UKTV) in autumn 2022.

Ben’s array of TV credits include a star guest role in Season 3 of Playing House (NBC Universal), Good Omens (Amazon Prime/BBC2), BAFTA and Emmy-nominated sketch show Tracey Ullman’s Show (BBC One/HBO), There She Goes (BBC Four), Alma’s Not Normal (BBC 2), Quacks (BBC2), Power Monkeys (Channel 4) and The Thick of It (BBC2).

In feature films, Ben has starred as Giles in Bridget Jones’ Baby, and has appeared in King of Thieves, Your Highness, Cemetery Junction, Starter for Ten, I Want Candy, Click, and St Trinian’s. He also wrote, co-produced, and co-starred in the multi-award-winning short film Tooty’s Wedding.

Directed by: Simon Hynd
Production Companies: BBC/Monumental
Executive Producers__: Alison Carpenter, Debra Hayward, Alison Owen
Producer: Pat Tookey-Dickson
Line Producers: Kay Loxley
Written by: Mathew Baynton, Jim Howick
Cinematography by:_Trevelyan Oliver
by: Will Peverett
Music by: Ralegh Long

Mathew Baynton
Simon Farnaby
Martha Howe-Douglas
Jim Howick
Laurence Rickard
Ben Willbond

UK 2022
2 x 30 mins

Total running time 90min

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
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