Ghosts' Mathew Baynton reveals how he convinced Jennifer Saunders to join cast for Christmas special

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  • Jennifer Saunders
    Jennifer Saunders
    English comedienne, screenwriter, actress and teacher
Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

Ghosts is returning to screens tonight with a festive special for Christmas time.

The much-loved comedy is back following the success of its third series, with Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders guest-starring as Lady Button's mother.

Speaking exclusively to Digital Spy, the show's writer and actor Mat Baynton called her appearance "a dream".

Photo credit: BBC
Photo credit: BBC

"She said some nice things about the show, way back with the first series," he said.

"I think she was one of the first people sort of tweeting how much she loved it and obviously we were all beside ourselves with joy at that.

"Then it just remains in your consciousness a little bit, that maybe if there's the right kind of shape of guest role... but you know, we didn't kind of get into a room and go 'Right, what can we come up with Jennifer Saunders to play?'

"But we reached a point where we were coming up with the story for the Christmas special, and we decided we were going to do this flashback to Lady Button's life when she was younger, and her mother would be in it.

"I think pretty much the moment we had the idea we were going 'Hmm... I wonder if Jennifer would do this?'"

Photo credit: Guido Mandozzi - BBC
Photo credit: Guido Mandozzi - BBC

Explaining how her guest role came around, he added: "We wrote her a simpering, pleading letter saying, 'It's not much for your talents but we'd really love you to come and play with us.' And thankfully she was up for it."

He added: "She did it so brilliantly. Her love of the show was really clear because she plays Fanny's mother with the perfect kind of knowledge of the mannerisms that Martha [Howe-Douglas] has as Lady Button.

Photo credit: Audible
Photo credit: Audible

"You can sort of see how she's really thought about it. She does this really tight-jawed thing which is really there in Lady Button, and you kind of go 'Oh, some of these mannerisms came from her mother'.

"It's such a perfect performance. I mean, if I remember rightly even the way she says mathematics is funny. She's just brilliant."

Ghosts Christmas special airs 23rd December at 8.30pm on BBC One, and will then be available on iPlayer.

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