Ghosts co-creator Martha Howe-Douglas has said that Julian's involvement in Alison's accident "needed" to be addressed in the dramatic season 5 finale.


Longtime viewers will remember the first ever episode, in which the late politician (played by Simon Farnaby) used his ability to interact with objects in the mortal world to shove Alison (Charlotte Ritchie) from a high-storey window.

The resulting near-death experience gave the Button House heir the power to see ghosts, which she initially regarded as a burden, but ultimately came to value as her relationships with the spirits grew fonder.

She never knew that her fall was anything more than an unfortunate accident, until the Ghosts season 5 ending saw Julian's secret blurted out in front of her.

Speaking to at the launch of the show's official companion book – Ghosts: The Button House Archives – episode co-writer Martha Howe-Douglas said the reveal was not part of any grand plan from the beginning.

She explained: "I don't remember it being a thing that we had to make sure we came back to, but it's something that – certainly as we were getting into the fifth series – we were like, 'actually, that's never been discussed'.

"So it kind of had to be tied up and I think it was done well... It's quite sad really [for Alison]."

Martha Howe-Douglas as Lady Button in Ghosts, standing with her hands together and frowning at the camera
Martha Howe-Douglas plays Lady Button in Ghosts. BBC/Monumental/Guido Mandozzi

In an unlikely turn of events, it's the morally bankrupt Julian who steps up to smooth things over, convincing Alison and Mike not to sell Button House with a touching speech about how thrilled he is to have them in his (after)life.

Howe-Douglas continued: "I think Julian's apology to her is completely lovely in the sense that, 'yes, I did do that because I didn't want you there at the beginning, but now I'm so glad I did it because now we have this – you can see us and we can see you'.

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"It was definitely something that we needed to tie up, I think, and the right time to do it."

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The ending to Ghosts season 5 was, ultimately, much happier than some fans expected, with the final shot seeing the living and deceased residents of Button House watching TV together – united in their excitement for Alison's imminent baby.

Now, we wait to find out what the 2023 Christmas special (i.e. the true finale) has in store.

Ghosts seasons 1-5 are 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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