Geezers don’t come any louder and prouder than “King” Gary King, the self-appointed czar of the dream neighbourhood, Butterchurn Crescent, in the fantasy suburban Essex that is the backdrop for hit BBC One sitcom King Gary. He’s overpowering enough in ordinary times, imagine what he’ll be like at Christmas!
The sitcom starring Murder in Successville’s Tom Davis as the guv’nor of the crescent is back for a one-off Christmas special – ahead of the upcoming season two – and Gary is in a bit of a pickle: he wants to turn the crescent into a fairy wonderland, but his neighbours, notably including Romesh Ranganathan, are claiming poverty. It’s been one of them years, aint it.
Our Gary tells Terri (Laura Checkley) he’s not having it – and the wheels are set in motion for a festive fiasco.
It’s no surprise to learn that King Gary was inspired by Only Fools and Horses. Even if the predominantly working class characters can be over-the-top and embarrassing both shows share a warmth for the world they inhabit. As amusing as they are, King Gary is also a celebration of suburbia.
Co-writer and star Davis told The Guardian earlier this year: “The working class – they’re some of the greatest people in this country. It’s important to show them positively on TV, because a lot of them feel they’re not being spoken for.”
When is the King Gary Christmas special on TV?
The King Gary Christmas special will air on Wednesday 23rd December at 10pm on BBC One.
King Gary Christmas special cast
King Gary is presided over by the larger than life figure of Tom Davis as Gary who, at 6ft 7in, is a giant of comedy, especially when he squeezes into his slightly too-tight sports tops and pastel polo shirts. Wife Terri is the love of Gary’s life and is played by Detectorists star Laura Checkley. But far from being an appendage to the King, Terri gets equally mortifying storylines to her husband’s.
The supporting cast is outstanding: Gary’s nemesis, passive-aggressive neighbour Stuart Williams is played with complete relish by comedian Romesh Ranganathan, while his dad, Big Gary, is played by former star of The Fast Show, Simon Day.
Rounding out the cast are former Doctor Who star Camille Coduri as Gary’s mum, Denise, and Riley Burgin as the heir apparent, little Teddy King.
King Gary Christmas special plot
There’s no hiding from COVID-19 and it’s been a tough year for the residents of Butterchurn Crescent. But Gary wants the annual Butterchurn Crescent Christmas Lights Display to be bigger and brighter than ever, switching on the festivities and turning off the negativity. Trouble is, Stuart Williams and other neighbours don’t want to know. They want to keep the leccy bills low and think a Secret Santa is the way to go.
Could a last-minute million-pound contract help Gary fund the Crescent’s illuminations and save Christmas?! Meanwhile, Terri struggles to get into the festive spirit when she discovers Teddy has fallen out of love with Christmas and is refusing to sing at his choir concert, while Big Gary and Denise host the festive house guests from hell.
Where is King Gary filmed?
The exact location of the King Gary set isn’t known, but the setting is clearly somewhere in Essex. Davis has explained that the supporting cast were chosen because they could play everyday characters from London’s outer suburbs.
Davis himself is from Sutton in Surrey, a location that’s on the other side of London from Essex but metaphorically isn’t a million miles away from King Gary.
When will series two of King Gary air?
The BBC commissioned a second series after series one was a hit in early 2020. It’s not known when series two will premiere or how the COVID-19 pandemic affected filming, but we’ll confirm the launch date as soon as we know it.
Is there a King Gary Christmas special trailer?
There is no trailer for the Christmas special yet, but we’ll upload it as soon as the BBC release it.