Ghosts co-creator Mathew Baynton has explained why such an unexpected direction was taken for the death of Kitty (Lolly Adefope), which was finally revealed in the recent fifth season.


Fans had long theorised exactly what caused the Georgian noblewoman to perish in Button House, leaving her to wander the grounds as a restless spirit for centuries after.

In the episode titled Pineapple Day, co-written by Baynton and Jim Howick, viewers finally learn the truth – and we're willing to assume that not a single one of them saw it coming.

The episode flashes back to Kitty's final day among the living, when she was thrilled to attend a dinner party arranged by her father at which the most exciting dish was pineapple – a rarity in those days.

Kitty asks to hold the fruit and cries out at a sharp pain, with her mean sister Eleanor (Emma Sidi) assuming she had jabbed herself on one of the spikes on its outer skin. In reality, she was bitten by a venomous spider – ultimately leading to her death.

Lolly Adefope as Kitty in Ghosts, wearing a purple dress and smiling as she holds a pineapple for the first time
Lolly Adefope as Kitty in Ghosts. BBC/Monumental/Guido Mandozzi

In an exclusive interview with to celebrate the launch of Ghosts: The Button House Archives, Baynton revealed that this was certainly not the original plan for the character.

"We all presumed that her sister would have poisoned her for the inheritance. That was always the kind of... 'that's probably what we'll do'," he began. And the longer you leave it the more that's going to feel unsatisfying."

Baynton continued: "Partly as writers I suppose, but also just thinking about the audience – you've led them so far with that being the only crumb of possibility... then it felt like it would be really disappointing to just do the expected thing.

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"So we started talking about, 'Are there other things we can do? And maybe even there's some feeling of redemption for the sister?' And so we started talking about those other options and then we thought the fun is all of those options."

Pineapple Day sees the ghosts of Button House attempt to piece together the events of Kitty's final hours on the mortal plain to settle the matter of her death once and for all, with a number of theories gaining momentum before the big reveal.

Baynton added: "The fun is the audience have an expectation about how she died and we're going to subvert that, give them something else and make them go, 'Oh, it was that!' And then something else.

"And hopefully, they'll be in the same position the characters are, where they're going, 'Maybe it was the sister, maybe it was the maid'... And then the only satisfying way is to go, 'Is it A, B or C? No, it's not any of those, it's D.'"

He laughed: "And D turned out to be a spider!"

Ghosts is available to stream on BBC 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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