Ghosts returning for a fifth series on BBC One

ExclusiveThursday 24th November 2022, 8:35am by Jay Richardson

  • Writing on a fifth series of the hit BBC sitcom is already well underway
  • The creators also hope to make further series after the upcoming run
  • However, Ben Willbond and Jim Howick have speculated about how the show might end, following the departure of Katy Wix‘s character Mary

Ghosts. Image shows from L to R: Captain (Ben Willbond), Pat (Jim Howick), Lady Button (Martha Howe-Douglas), Alison (Charlotte Ritchie), Thomas (Mathew Baynton), Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe), Kitty ( Lolly Adefope), Julian (Simon Farnaby), Robin (Laurence Rickard), Mary (Katy Wix), Humphrey (Laurence Rickard). Copyright: Monumental Pictures

Ghosts is returning for a fifth series British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

Ahead of a third christmas special airing next month, the creators are currently polishing the scripts for further episodes BCG understands, with a desire to make more if the BBC wants them.

Rumors of the fifth series order emerged as early as a year ago and BCG has now confirmed the recommission. A BBC spooksperson declined to comment on the return of the hit sitcom, which is made by Monumental Pictures.

Simon Hynd will once again direct the new episodes and creators Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Simon Farnaby and Mathew Baynton will return to star alongside Charlotte Ritchie, Kiell Smith-Bynoe and Lolly Adefope.

They will not be joined by Katy Wix however, who requested her character, Mary, be killed off – or rather, “sucked off” – ahead of the fourth series shooting earlier this year.

Ghosts. Mary (Katy Wix). Copyright: Monumental Pictures

“Season four was a really tough season going into” Willbond told interviewer Hannah Dunleavy on Sarah Millican‘s Standard Issue podcast on Sunday. “We talked with Katy and she decided this is it for me … So then we had the challenge of how do we do it? … It was a really sad thing to do but we had to come up with a way of it fitting it into the show, making sure that Katy was comfortable with it. A whole balance of things but it was incredibly sad.”

Nevertheless, “there was something quite satisfying about them all being ghosts and yet somehow still alive, suddenly coming face-to-face with grief and having to tackle that in half an hour” he said. “It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write.”

Howick explained: “I think with Mary, we always knew we weren’t going to be able to do her death [in which she was burned as a witch]. It would be too violent, too macabre. We had to serve her with a flashback … the idea that we’ve given birth to Mary as we know her, two episodes before the show that we take her away, was a nice little circle to the series.

“The idea that she’s conceived in Episode 2 and then we take her away in Episode 4 makes it doubly satisfying that we know that, in death, she’s had a reasonably happy time and she’s got what she wanted – being ‘sucked off'”.

He also speculated that more characters could follow Mary. “Who knows?” Howick said. “It’s a totally open door for someone else, the possibility of someone else being sucked off. Or all of them going.”

“Or all of them going at once maybe!” Willbond added. “I’m just going to leave that hanging in the air…”

Ghosts. Pat (Jim Howick). Copyright: Monumental Pictures

Focusing on a festive trip down memory lane for Howick’s character, Pat, that prompts him to question his very identity, the upcoming festive episode, set to air in Christmas week, also features the Ghosts coming up with a surprise present for Alison (Ritchie) after her family lunch does not go to plan.

Meanwhile, the first series of the US adaptation of Ghosts has come to BBC Three and iPlayer.

And We Are Not Alonethe feature-length, sci-fi comedy pilot written by Willbond and Rickard for Dave, starring Declan Baxter, Joe Thomas, Vicki Pepperdine, Amanda Abbington, Georgia May Foote and Mike Wozniak, airs on Monday.


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