A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Sky's hit comedy Brassic gets its first Christmas special, and any doubts fans may have had that the show would come over all gooey and sentimental for the festive season are quickly dispelled by the opening scene.


To the tune of Silent Night, biblical pair Joseph and Mary and their donkey find themselves outside Jim's house asking for shelter, and are greeted by the grumpy farmer who replies: 'What the (expletive deleted) do you think I am? Airbnb?'

Yes, a Brassic Christmas was bound to be a rude and crude one as we return to the streets of Hawley to visit Vinnie (Joe Gilgun) and his gang of friends who live on the (slightly) wrong side of the law, growing cannabis, robbing those who usually deserve to be robbed, and generally causing chaos for the local police force.

The festive special is set "last Christmas" – meaning it takes place before the events of season 5, so most of the beloved gang is present, including Cardi, Tommo, Ash, Carol, Erin and JJ (who went AWOL during last season) – and there's no sign of newer characters Meena and Adyan.

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The story begins with Dr Chris (Dominic West) calling Vinnie (Joe Gilgun) to ask him a favour – he's holidaying in Acapulco and needs Vinnie to look in on his grumpy Auntie Edie, who has had a fall and broken her arm.

With Aunt Edie played by the wonderful Imelda Staunton, it's a Christmas treat to be able to watch her and Vinnie go head to head as he moves in to keep an eye on her and she immediately orders him not to go up in her loft space – which is nothing to do with presents, we should add (it wouldn't be Brassic without something grisly chucked in for good measure).

Michelle Keegan, Joe Gilgun and Imelda Staunton dressed in Christmas clothes for Brassic
Michelle Keegan, Joe Gilgun and Imelda Staunton in Brassic.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang are trying to save Christmas in their own way after the local school's props and costumes are trashed just days before the Nativity play. Vinnie and Edie come to the rescue too when it turns out that Edie, a retired primary school teacher, knows a former pupil named Dick Dolphin (Greg Davies) who runs the local Winter Wonderland, and he may just lend them the Nativity items they need.

It's a suitably seasonal Brassic romp (complete with fake snow), especially when you add in a running gag about Tommo hating a cheesy Christmas song, a heist with a snowman, the chance to see Ash do an expletive-filled panto rap, and enough bad language to make any grannies watching spit out their Yuletide sherry (in case you hadn't gathered, this definitely isn't a Christmas special for the whole family).

There's all the comedy you'd expect from the team here to have you chortling until Boxing Day, and also some sweet moments too, including a scene with Edie and Cardi that should melt even the Scrooge-iest of hearts (have we mentioned yet just how fabulous Staunton is in this?).

Even when the ending veers towards the sentimental, there's a Brassic twist to ensure this Christmas special never gets corny and remains as crass and deliciously dirty as all the episodes of this terrific comedy drama that have gone before.

A Very Brassic Christmas will air on Sky Max on Thursday 21st December at 10pm. All episodes of Brassic are available to watch on demand.

Check out more of our Comedy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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