Hold the Sunset

If I Were a Wise Man

Episode 2 If I Were a Wise Man

Sun 22 Dec 12:30pm - 1pm BBC One (not Wales)


Hold the Sunset proved there’s a healthy appetite for quirky comedies about people in later life (see also Boomers, Mum). For this Christmas one-off, the quality cast make up for a script where the jokes are, to be honest, slight to the point of vanishing.

Retirees Edith (Alison Steadman) and Phil (John Cleese) are stuck with her adult son Roger (Jason Watkins) for Christmas – and the latter has bought a Christmas tree that is far too big for the living room. Also visiting is Edith’s snooty sister Joan (Sue Johnston). “Can I get you a drink?” offers Phil, muttering bitterly, as only Cleese can, “I’m afraid we don’t have any Novichok…”


Edith and her family celebrate their last Christmas together before she and Phil set off for their dream retirement in the Mediterranean. However, things do not go to plan as Edith's son Roger decides to invite her scurrilous one-time flame Bob to join in with the festivities, and Edith's sister Joan makes it clear to all that she will not be watching the Queen's Speech anywhere else. Meanwhile, Queenie locks Sandra and Wendy into a wardrobe, and Phil finds himself talking to a ghost. Christmas special from 2018, guest starring Annette Badland.

Cast & Crew

Edith Alison Steadman
Phil John Cleese
Roger Jason Watkins
Queenie Anne Reid
Wendy Rosie Cavaliero
Bob James Cosmo
Joan Sue Johnston
Sandra Joanna Scanlan
Mr Dugdale Peter Egan
Celia Annette Badland
Estate agent Edward Aczel
Director Sandy Johnson
Executive Producer Chris Sussman
Producer Moira Williams
Producer Humphrey Barclay
Writer Charles McKeown
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