Mathew Baynton on Ghosts, clowning and his inner Regency era poet

If only the director could see their Narrator Three now. The snub marked the beginning of Baynton’s steady rise to Brit-com stardom, from comic turns like the innocent but inane Deano in Gavin and Stacey (2008-2010), to creating and starring in several dearly beloved sitcoms, the most recent being BBC One’s Ghosts (2019-).

Laurence Rickard on Ghosts series five, Kylie Minogue and the emotional "double whammy" of the Christmas finale

Ghosts, the beloved BBC One sitcom about a found family of unexpectant stately homeowners, and their needy gaggle of ghostly housemates, returned for its fifth and final series last Friday. But a few days before, The Mirror forced the cast into prematurely confirming on X that "there might be one last present under the Christmas tree this year."

Ghosts’ final series will be followed by a surprise Christmas special

The creators teased on social media that “there might be one last present under the Christmas tree this year.”

In previous series, the Christmas specials have given more backstory for the ghosts, with audiences getting a glimpse at former politician Julian’s (Simon Farnaby) relationship with his daughter back in series two. Last year’s special saw Scout leader Pat (Jim Howick) receive home videos from the family he left behind. Additionally, in a particularly touching festive moment, renaissance poet Thomas (Mathew Baynton) listened to The Smiths for the very first time.

Trailer and release date announced for Ghosts' fifth and final series

In the last series, Alison and Mike, played by Charlotte Richie (Fresh Meat) and Kiell Smith-Bynoe (Taskmaster), dealt with unsuitable birthday parties, regretted buying ‘zorbing balls’ to spice up their B&B, and saw their gatehouse burn to the ground – all while having to manage their own personal gaggle of ghosts.

Working Lives: Business Affairs

 She deals with everything from book rights to script deals, development, broadcaster agreements, talent negotiations, financing and distribution. Carnie started out as a lawyer at a City law firm, but had her head turned during a secondment to MTV.

What does the job involve?

Essentially, it’s deal making: helping two sides agree commercial terms. In development, I could be taking out options on books, negotiating with scriptwriters’ agents, or making agreements with co-producers, broadcasters or distributors who are funding a series.

Ghosts’ announcement of a final series has viewers in mourning

The cast of Ghosts stood outside Button House

Alison (Charlotte Richie) and Mike Cooper (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) moved into Button House after inheriting it from a distant relative. However, their talks of converting the mansion into a hotel upset its permanent residents, a set of ghosts who died in the house at various points in history.

A shock accident left Alison, who crucially is a living person, able to see her phantom friends; eight ghosts all vying for her attention, along with a whole cluster of plague victims living in her basement.