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BBC sitcom Ghosts returns for more high spirited fun

PUBLISHED: 12:34 23 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:34 23 September 2020

The spooky residents of Button House with owners Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe). Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven Peskett

The spooky residents of Button House with owners Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe). Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven Peskett

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The team from Horrible Histories return with more spooky silliness for adults.

Martha Howe-Douglas as Lady Button. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven PeskettMartha Howe-Douglas as Lady Button. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven Peskett

It was the highest rated comedy series on UK television in 2019 and just as we could all do with a laugh, Ghosts is back for a second series of spooky silliness.

From the team behind the Children’s BBC series Horrible Histories (which is loved by parents as much as kids), Yonderland and Bill, it stars Charlotte Ritchie and Kiell Smith-Bynoe as young couple Alison and Mike, who unexpectedly inherit a grand country estate only to find it is both falling apart and overrun with ghosts.

Button House is home to a troupe of restless spirits who have died there over the centuries, each ghost very much a product of their time, resigned to squabbling with each other for eternity over the most inane of daily gripes.

In this series Alison and Mike are trying to find a semi-harmonious routine with their supernatural housemates. The ghosts have found a way to make their new situation work for them, while the couple are working towards a new money-making venture to fund the house’s never-ending renovations after their plans to sell it to a luxury hotel chain were scuppered by the discovery of a plague pit in the cellar.

Ben Willbond as The Captain and Jim Howick as Pat. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven PeskettBen Willbond as The Captain and Jim Howick as Pat. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven Peskett

The whole of series one and two are on iPlayer now, or watch series two weekly on BBC One on Mondays 8.30pm. And for an extra treat there’s going to be a Christmas special as well.

Here we meet the high spirited residents of Button House...

Laurence Rickard as Robin the Caveman and Katy Wix as Mary. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven PeskettLaurence Rickard as Robin the Caveman and Katy Wix as Mary. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven Peskett

Julian (Simon Farnaby)

An MP who died in “mysterious circumstances”, leaving him (quite literally) with his trousers down for eternity. Utterly bereft of morals, but, ever the politician, he tries to give the impression that he’s the embodiment of diplomacy. He’s perfectly pleasant to talk to but has a fabulous knack of using a lot of words to say nothing at all. Were he not dead, he’d probably be running the country.

Thomas (Mathew Baynton)

Lolly Adefope as Kitty. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven PeskettLolly Adefope as Kitty. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven Peskett

A romantic poet in a Byronian mould, overly dramatic and linguistically flamboyant Thomas is very trying company. He died lovelorn and besotted, so exists in a state of permanent romantic infatuation, which he has transferred wholly onto Alison since her arrival in the house. Thomas takes every opportunity to belittle Mike, safe in the knowledge that he can neither hear him nor do him any harm. The sort of bravery that you’d expect from a poet.

The Captain (Ben Willbond)

A cantankerous and reactionary Second World War army captain who served at the old house during its wartime use as a military base. He thinks of the other ghosts as being under his command, which is in no way the case, thereby thwarting his every attempt to instil discipline. When the Captain isn’t catching up on his newly discovered and beloved war documentaries, he tries to create the type of order in the house that he strived for in the war – a largely fruitless aim, but one that seems to give his life (death) meaning.

Mathew Baynton as romantic poet Thomas Thorne. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven PeskettMathew Baynton as romantic poet Thomas Thorne. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven Peskett

Lady Button (Martha Howe-Douglas)

The house’s one-time owner, who basically thinks of it as still being hers. Inhumanly strict and starchy, she is hugely dismissive of modern thinking, fashion, and, by and large, people. Since admitting to the others that her husband George pushed her out of a window after she caught him in a menage a trois, Lady Button has been battling the shackles of Edwardian patriarchy that were placed on her in life, whilst learning what it means to be a woman in the 21st century through her descendant, Alison.

Simon Farnaby as Julian. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven PeskettSimon Farnaby as Julian. Picture: BBC/Monumental Television/Steven Peskett

Pat (Jim Howick)

Despite being accidentally shot through the neck with an arrow by a young member of his adventure club, Pat still bristles with the heart and energy of an encouraging team leader. Wholesome, positive and determined to keep up morale, Pat is every bit as inspiring – and annoying – as that sounds.

Kitty (Lolly Adefope)

Full of unwavering joy and optimism, Kitty will get excited at just about anything. She is utterly absent of any bitterness towards whoever engineered her untimely demise, and likes to see the good in everyone (even Julian, at a push). She easily gets swept up in the romance of even the tamest situations, but her joie de vivre and total lack of cynicism can be tedious for the other ghosts, and now more recently for Alison, whom she idolises.

Mary (Katy Wix)

It is unclear whether Mary is an actual witch or merely a perfectly normal 17th century woman who said something that upset a village elder and ended up being burnt at the stake. Either way, she is certainly a font of knowledge (slash paranoia) when it comes to folklore, tradition and questionable herbal remedies.

Robin (Laurence Rickard)

As the house’s oldest inhabitant (by quite some margin), caveman Robin he has seen and learnt a great many things... but has forgotten far more than he’s remembered. His primitive speech means that even his more lucid thoughts can only be expressed in staccato bursts of adjectives and nouns.

Humphrey (also Laurence Rickard)

Beheaded under Elizabeth I, Humphrey is not the type to let a little thing like having his head cut off get him down. Breezy and jocular to a fault, he will (literally) laugh his head off at anything – regardless of whether it’s appropriate.

Plague victims

A mass grave of rather bored plague victims whose eternal resting place has now become a wine cellar. Kept in the dark, in every sense, they greatly enjoy occasional visitors (nothing is more exciting to them than when the pilot light goes out on the boiler) and, due to their lack of stimulation beyond wine labels, now know more about what pairs with a rare sirloin than any sommelier on Earth.


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