Meet the cast of BBC One comedy Pandemonium

The post-lockdown festive comedy special stars Katherine Parkinson and Alison Steadman.

Pandemonium - Christmas Special 2020

The Jessop family are taking their post-lockdown “summer holiday” a little later than usual, as they head to a chilly Margate in the BBC festive special Pandemonium.

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Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) leads the cast as mum Rachel, who hopes that a last-minute family break will make up for their cancelled summer plans.

Read on for a guide to the cast and characters in Pandemonium.

Katherine Parkinson plays Rachel

Pandemonium - Christmas Special 2020
Pandemonium – Christmas Special 2020
BBC

Who is Rachel? Otherwise known as ‘Mum’ in the Jessop family, and married to Paul. She’s an optimist, and has been propping up the family’s finances (and her husband’s self-esteem) during the pandemic.

Where have I seen Katherine Parkinson before? You’ll probably recognise the actress from playing Jen Barber on the sitcom The It Crowd. She’s also starred in The Boat That Rocked, Humans (as Laura), The Kennedys, Sherlock (as Kitty), and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Jim Howick plays Paul

Pandemonium - Christmas Special 2020
Pandemonium – Christmas Special 2020
BBC

Who is Paul? The father of the Jessop family unit, and married to Rachel. Paul is an ex-Olympic archer, but his archery school has closed due to COVID and he’s struggled with self-confidence over the past year.

Where have I seen Jim Howick before? The actor and screenwriter is known for starring in Ghosts (as Pat), Wannabe, Broadchurch, Horrible Histories, Peep Show, and for playing an alcoholic teacher (Mr Hendricks) in the Netflix comedy series Sex Education.

Alison Steadman plays Sue

Pandemonium - Christmas Special 2020
Pandemonium – Christmas Special 2020
BBC

Who is Sue? Paul’s mum is blunt and cheeky, with a “cavalier” attitude to the pandemic as she constantly breaks lockdown rules in order to check up on her family.

Where have I seen Alison Steadman before? With a long career in TV and film, Steadman might perhaps be best known to contemporary audiences for playing Pam on Gavin & Stacey, and as Mrs Bennett in the BBC series Pride and Prejudice. She’s also starred in Life, Fat Friends, Care, Hold the Sunset, and The Worst Week of My Life.

Freya Parks plays Amy Jessop

Pandemonium - Christmas Special 2020
Pandemonium – Christmas Special 2020
BBC

Who is Amy? The Jessops’ eldest daughter, she has a dry sense of humour and loves to tease her long-suffering dad, Paul.

Where have I seen Freya Parks before? She’s played Helen Burns in Cary Fukunaga’s Jane Eyre, and starred in Amazon’s Bliss! and Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables. Parks also played Etty Darwin in the film Creation.

Tom Basden plays Robin

Pandemonium - Christmas Special 2020
Pandemonium – Christmas Special 2020
BBC

Who is Robin? Rachel’s brother, he’s always tagging along on family holidays and outstaying his welcome. When we’re introduced to him in February, he’s happily prepping for his summer wedding – which of course is cancelled due to Covid.

Where have I seen Tom Basden before? Basden, who wrote the script for Pandemonium and also co-created Plebs, has starred in After Life (as Matt), Plebs, Quacks, Women on the Verge, and David Brent: Life on the Road.

Jack Christou plays Ben Jessop 

Pandemonium
Pandemonium – Christmas Special 2020
BBC

Who is Ben? The Jessops’ youngest, no-nonsense son, Ben takes it upon himself to film the family’s seaside trip.

Where have I seen Jack Christou before? The newcomer has previously starred in Doctors.

Tori Allen-Martin plays Cherry

Who is Cherry? Robin’s demanding, high-maintenance wife-to-be-, Cherry is described as “Blissfully un-self-aware”.

Where have I seen Tori Allen-Martin before? The actress has appeared in Unforgotten (as Sandra in season three), Pure (as Libby), and London Kills.

Mica Ricketts plays Maya Hughes

Who is Maya? Amy’s best friend and girlfriend, and an honorary member of the Jessop clan.

Where have I seen Mica Ricketts before? The actress is known for Bulletproof, As Dead As It Gets, and Vera.

Pandemonium airs on BBC One at 9:45pm on Wednesday 30th December 2020.

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Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best Christmas TV, or visit our TV Guide.