Ben Elton's sharp Shakespearean sitcom Upstart Crow has more saucy double entendres than a fridge full of turkeys that need stuffing and more roasting than average episode of Taskmaster, so it's a welcome alternative to the more family friendly fare on television over the festive season.


But what can we expect from our William's quill as the world recovers from the pestilent plague we call COVID-19?

The one-off Upstart Crow Christmas special is entitled Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: a Lockdown Christmas 1603 and is a two-hander, featuring David Mitchell as the mighty Bard and Gemma Whelan as the Landlady's Daughter, Kate, and even though the pair are in lockdown due to the plague that holds London in its sickly grip, there will be a mine of metaphors and analogies with 2020 to amuse us.

When is the Upstart Crow Christmas special on TV?

The Upstart Crow Christmas special will screen on at 9pm on Monday, 21st December on BBC Two. Previous festive specials have aired on Christmas Day in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

We will update as soon as the BBC's Christmas schedule is confirmed.

Upstart Crow Christmas special cast

Times are tough in London in 1603 and just as TV productions have had to get creative to provide content in this year of COVID-19, things are restricted in Elizabeth times as well. So Will, played by comed star David Mitchell, is locked down with Kate, played by The End of the F***ing World and Game of Thrones actress Gemma Whelan.

So no Harry Enfield, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson or Paula Wilcox this year and the cast may be limited to two but the talent of the duo will undoubtedly make the 30-minute special one of the comedy highlights of Christmas.

Upstart Crow Christmas special plot

The Christmas special is entitled Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: a Lockdown Christmas 1603, so it's no surprise to find Will and Kate in wave 15 of state-enforced home confinement together in Will’s London lodgings. As Kate fills endless time with baking, painting, hoarding, clapping and DIY haircuts, Will is doing his absolute best to use the plaguey lock-in to pen a classic for the new King so his head doesn’t end up in a basket.

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The problem is he’s got zero inspiration… Can Will come up with the perfect play? And far from their friends and loved ones can he and Kate find a way to create their own kind of Christmas merriment?

Is there a trailer for the Upstart Crow Christmas special?

The BBC hasn't yet released a trailer for the 2020 Upstart Crow Christmas special, but we will upload it as soon as it is launched.


Check out our guide to the best Christmas TV or find something to watch tonight with our TV Guide