The gang is back together! It's Christmas time at Button House and the ghosts have prepared a special treat for Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) after her plans for the big day go awry.


Always a highlight of the festive schedule, the special episode will also involve an emotionally charged storyline for scout leader Pat (Jim Howick), who is left questioning his identity after a big discovery.

Ghosts has amassed quite a fanbase since its 2019 debut and it won't be ending here, with the BBC recently announcing a fifth season of the BAFTA-nominated show.

The all-star cast of comedy names also includes Kiell Smith-Bynoe (Stath Lets Flats), Lolly Adefope (Shrill) and the troupe who brought us Horrible Histories and Yonderland, who are the masterminds behind this project too.

Read on for everything you need to know about the Ghosts cast.

Charlotte Ritchie plays Alison

Charlotte Ritchie plays Alison in Ghosts

Who is Alison? Alison is a young woman who finds out that she has inherited a country manor from her "step-great-auntie" – a distant relative who died leaving no direct descendants. In the first series, she has a near-death experience that gives her the ability to see ghosts, allowing her to get to know the larger-than-life personalities haunting her new home. She becomes more confident at keeping the spirits appeased over time, but life in Button House still has plenty of challenges.

Where have I seen Charlotte Ritchie before? She played Nurse Barbara Gilbert on Call The Midwife until making a heartbreaking exit in season 7, and previously starred in Channel 4 comedy Fresh Meat as Oregon. Since leaving Midwife, she has also co-starred in Netflix's Feel Good and E4's Dead Pixels, as well as making guest appearances in Doctor Who and Death in Paradise. Most recently, she joined the Grantchester cast for season 7, playing a love interest to vicar William Davenport (Tom Brittney).

Kiell Smith-Bynoe plays Mike

Screen Shot 2019-04-15 at 14.38.09

Who is Mike? Mike is Charlotte's husband, who moves with her to Button House to help her renovate the dilapidated building. He isn't able to see the ghosts like Alison can, but does believe that they exist and supports her in coping with them where he can. The writers of Ghosts have dismissed the idea of finding a way for Mike to see his paranormal tenants like his wife can, feeling it would change the premise of the show to radically and irreversibly. However, they have found workaround ways for Mike to interact with them in recent episodes.

Where have I seen Kiell Smith-Bynoe before? Smith-Bynoe is best known for playing Dean in acclaimed Channel 4 comedy Stath Lets Flats, while he has also appeared in Man Like Mobeen, Death in Paradise and Bloods. Most recently, he made a guest appearance in Daisy May Cooper comedy The Witchfinder and featured in Dave mockumentary Live at the Moth Club.

Mathew Baynton plays Thomas

Programme Name: Ghosts - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Thomas Thorne (MAT BAYNTON) - (C) Button Hall Productions - Photographer: Mark Johnson

Who is Thomas? A failed romantic poet who now haunts Button House. He quickly becomes infatuated with Alison, and finds it hard to accept that she isn't interested in him.

Where have I seen Mathew Baynton before? The Horrible Histories and Yonderland star first came to national attention in the Gavin & Stacey cast, where he played Smithy's dim-witted friend and colleague, Deano. He teamed up with Corden once again on comedy-drama series The Wrong Mans. His other television credits include ITV's Vanity Fair, The Split, Peep Show and Sky's You, Me and the Apocalypse.

Lolly Adefope plays Kitty

Programme Name: Ghosts - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Kitty (LOLLY ADEFOPE) - (C) Button Hall Productions - Photographer: Mark Johnson

Who is Kitty? One of the ghosts haunting Alison and Mike, Kitty is a Georgian noblewoman who is very kind, but a little bit too eager to be everybody's best friend.

Where have I seen Lolly Adefope before? The comedy star played infuriating roving reporter Ruth Duggan in This Time with Alan Partridge, while she also stars in US comedies Shrill and Miracle Workers. She competed on the fourth season of Greg Davies and Alex Horne's smash hit Taskmaster.

Simon Farnaby plays Julian

Programme Name: Ghosts - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Julian (SIMON FARNABY) - (C) Button Hall Productions - Photographer: Mark Johnson

Who is Julian? A Conservative MP who passed away under embarrassing circumstances. Hint: he's not wearing any trousers. Julian also has the ability to move objects in the real world, but only short distances and with great concentration.

Where have I seen Simon Farnaby before? As well as Horrible Histories and Yonderland, Simon Farnaby has also had roles in Detectorists and This Time with Alan Partridge, as well as a brief cameo appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Behind the camera, he is known for co-writing family adventure Paddington 2, which received critical acclaim and was a box office hit. He's reuniting with collaborator Paul King for Hollywood blockbuster Wonka, starring Timothée Chalamet, which will also see appearances from Ghosts actors Baynton and Ritchie.

Martha Howe-Douglas plays Lady Button

Programme Name: Ghosts - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Lady Button (MARTHA HOWE-DOUGLAS) - (C) Button Hall Productions - Photographer: Mark Johnson

Who is Lady Button? A distant relative of Alison who passed away in Button House during the Edwardian era. She is extremely pompous and elitist, still considering the house to be her home above all else.

Where have I seen Martha Howe-Douglas before? The Horrible Histories and Yonderland regular also featured in Doctor Foster and made a surprise appearance on EastEnders back in 2018. More recently, she has guest starred in BBC One sitcom Motherland and Sky comedy Breeders.

Ben Willbond plays The Captain

Programme Name: Ghosts - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: The Captain (BEN WILLBOND) - (C) Button Hall Productions - Photographer: Mark Johnson

Who is The Captain? A former army officer who fancies himself the leader amongst the spirits in the mansion. It has been heavily implied that the Captain is gay, with one emotional episode revealing he developed feelings for one of his fellow soldiers during the war. However, he did not come out of the closet before his death.

Where have I seen Ben Willbond before? Another Horrible Histories and Yonderland favourite, Willbond has also featured in comedies such as The Thick of It, Tracey Ullman's Show, There She Goes and Alma's Not Normal. He also appeared in Neil Gaiman's fantasy series Good Omens. On the big screen, you may recognise him from belated sequel Bridget Jones's Baby.

Jim Howick plays Pat

Programme Name: Ghosts - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Pat (JIM HOWICK) - (C) Button Hall Productions - Photographer: Mark Johnson

Who is Pat? Another of the ghosts in Button House: a former scout leader who got an arrow in the neck during a day trip gone horribly wrong.

Where have I seen Jim Howick before? The Horrible Histories, Yonderland and Peep Show favourite has a memorable recurring role as teacher Mr Hendricks in Netflix's Sex Education. He currently stars in another BBC sitcom, Here We Go, while he recently took a dramatic turn for ITV thriller Hollington Drive.

Laurence Rickard plays Robin

Ghosts star Laurence Rickard plays Robin the Caveman
Ghosts star Laurence Rickard plays Robin the Caveman BBC

Who is Robin? A caveman and the longest serving ghost in the house by far, Robin also has the ability to make the lights in the house flicker.

Where have I seen Larry Rickard before? As well as Horrible Histories and Yonderland, Rickard has also written for and starred in Tracey Ullman's Show and Tracey Breaks the News. He is currently co-writing a new UKTV comedy titled We Are Not Alone with Ghosts co-star Ben Willbond.

Laurence Rickard plays Sir Humphrey Bone

Laurence Rickard plays Sir Humphrey Bone in Ghosts

Who is Sir Humphrey Bone? Humphrey is a ghost from the Tudor period who was beheaded. As a result, his head often detaches from his body and goes missing around the house. In season 3, we learn more about the circumstances that led to his grisly fate.

Where have I seen Larry Rickard before? See above.

Geoffrey McGivern plays Barclay Beg-Chetwynde

Geoffrey McGivern in BBC One's Ghosts

Who is Barclay Beg-Chetwynde? Barclay is Mike and Alison's wealthy neighbour. He frequently annoys the young couple with his arrogant attitude, but did have a heroic moment on the night Button House was almost burgled.

What else has Geoffrey McGivern been in? McGivern has a brilliant role on the Mitchell and Webb sitcom Back, where he plays the outrageously loudmouthed Uncle Geoff. His other credits include ITV drama Quiz, BBC sitcom Semi-Detached and Grantchester.

Former cast

Katy Wix plays Mary

Programme Name: Ghosts - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. 2) - Picture Shows: Mary (KATY WIX) - (C) Button Hall Productions - Photographer: Mark Johnson

Who is Mary? A dim-witted "witch" who was burnt at the stake in the Middle Ages. She was "sucked off" – that is to say, elevated to the next stage of the afterlife – in season 4, effectively removing her from the show.

Where have I seen Katy Wix before? She played Daisy in Not Going Out, Fergie in The Windsors, and Carole in Stath Lets Flats. Wix has made memorable guest appearances in This Time with Alan Partridge, Sherlock and Death in Paradise among others. Most recently, she co-starred in acclaimed Channel 4 sitcom Big Boys.

2022 Christmas special guest stars

Oliver Maltman plays Alexander

Who is Alexander? Alexander is a scout leader in the present day, who is friends with Pat's widow and continues the troop he once worked for.

What else has Oliver Maltman been in? Maltman played pub barman Mike in the Mitchell & Webb comedy Back. He is also known for roles in Red Dwarf, Liar, The Crown and Brexit: The Uncivil War, where he portrayed Michael Gove.

Sophie Bould plays Carol

Who is Carol? Carol was Pat's wife, before his tragic accident.

What else has Sophie Bould been in? Bould played Miss Talbot in the third season of Sex Education.

Lauren Douglin plays Andi

Who is Andi? Andi is a qualified archery tutor. She is hired as the Pat's old scouting troop don't want another life lost due to carelessness.

What else has Lauren Douglin been in? Douglin has recently appeared in Prime Video's Mammals, BBC One's Marriage and crime drama Grantchester, which also features Ghosts star Charlotte Ritchie.

Billy Byers plays Young Daley (12)

Who is Daley? One of Pat's sons.

Who is Billy Byers? Byers is a screen newcomer.

Charlie Mackinnon plays Young Daley (7)

Who is Charlie Mackinnon? Mackinnon is a screen newcomer.

2021 Christmas special guest stars

Jennifer Saunders plays Lavinia, mother to Lady Button

Jennifer Saunders and Martha Howe-Douglas in Ghosts
Jennifer Saunders and Martha Howe-Douglas in Ghosts BBC

Who is Lavinia? Lavinia is the overbearing mother of Lady Button who is determined to see her daughter married and settled down in the near future.

What else has Jennifer Saunders been in? Saunders rose to fame as part of the Comic Strip troupe on Channel 4, later forming a double act with Dawn French. The duo specialised sketch comedy for a number of years and later shared the screen again in BBC sitcom Jam & Jerusalem. Saunders is also known for creating the legendary sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, where she co-starred opposite Joanna Lumley.

Christopher Villiers plays Simeon, father to Lady Button

Jennifer Saunders and Christopher Villiers in Ghosts Christmas Special 2021
(L-R) Jennifer Saunders and Christopher Villiers in Ghosts Christmas Special 2021 BBC

Who is Simeon? Simeon is a businessman and father to Lady Button.

What else has Christopher Villiers been in? Villiers played the role of Grayson Sinclair in ITV soap opera Emmerdale, but was written out of the show in 2008. Since then, he has appeared in The ABC Murders, The Royals and Indian Summers, among several other television programmes.

Justin Edwards plays Nicholas

Justin Edwards plays Nicholas in Ghosts

Who is Nicholas? Nicholas is a homeless man who Mike and Alison find camped out on their lawn. Kitty quickly becomes convinced that he is Father Christmas.

What else has Justin Edwards been in? Edwards has worked with Armando Iannucci on both The Thick of It and US spin-off Veep, with other small screen projects including Father Brown and Murder in Successville.

2020 Christmas special guest stars

Leon Herbert plays Mike's dad, Errol

Leon Herbert plays Errol in Ghosts on BBC One

Who is Errol? Errol is Mike's father, who comes to stay at Button House with the rest of his family for Christmas. He's a kind and caring man, but his eagerness to help in all the preparations rather than simply relax proves frustrating for his son.

What else has Leon Herbert been in? Herbert's previous roles include Eutroclus in fantasy drama Outlander and Dr Kahari on BBC One's Silent Witness. He also appeared in sci-fi blockbuster Alien 3 and made his directorial debut with 2003's Emotional Backgammon.

Lorna Gayle plays Mike's mum, Betty

Lorna Gaye plays Betty on Ghosts

Who is Betty? Betty is Mike's loving mother who also comes to stay for the festivities. Much like her husband, she finds it difficult to sit down and relax, preferring to find things to help out with.

What else has Lorna Gayle been in? Gayle's recent projects include Steve McQueen's Small Axe film Red, White and Blue, as well as hard-hitting drama Anthony.

Timmika Ramsay plays Leila

Samantha Pearl stars in Ghosts Christmas special

Who is Leila? Leila is one of Mike's sisters who delights in winding him up.

What else has Timmika Ramsay been in? Timmika played Sabelle on Channel 4 drama series Adult Material. She also appeared in an episode of BBC iPlayer's Enterprice, which also featured Ghosts star Kiell Smith-Bynoe.

Samantha Pearl plays Angela

BBC One's Ghosts Christmas Special stars Timmika Ramsay

Who is Angela? Angela is Mike's other sister who comes to stay for Christmas. Her partner is a paramedic working the busy Christmas shift, meaning it's down to her to look after their newborn baby.

What else has Samantha Pearl been in? Pearl's previous acting credits include Tom Hardy crime thriller Legend and BBC Three comedy Lee Nelson's Well Funny People.

Ghosts returns to BBC One at 7:25pm on Christmas Day. Catch up on iPlayer. 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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