Birds of a Feather will be back on our screens this festive season for the first time in three years, with ITV and Birds star Linda Robson announcing that the show will return for a new one-off extended Christmas special at the end of this year.
Robson will be back as Tracey Stubbs while Lesley Joseph also reprises her role as Dorien Green for the comedy special, while Les Dennis will guest star as Dorien's new flame Graeme.
The episode, which is written by Laurence Marks, Maurice Gran, Gary Lawson and John Phelps, will also star Ami Metcalf as Jordan, a young friend of Tracey's who's looking forward to a lockdown Christmas, and Curtis Walker.
However, it has been confirmed that Pauline Quirke will not be back as Sharon Theodopolopodous for the special, as she is taking a step back from acting to focus on running her chain of performing arts academies.
The last time we saw the Birds in 2017 Tracey had reluctantly sold the house the ladies share to Dorien, and ITV's synopsis for the Christmas special reveals that the friends are struggling to adjust to their 2020 arrangements.
"At the end of a 2020 no-one could have predicted, we catch up with the inhabitants of our favourite Essex address... and find big changes in all their lives," it reads.
"Tracey and Dorien have been getting right on each other's thruppennies, while Sharon has escaped to the other side of the world and is stuck on a Covid-cruise... Who can fill the Sharon-shaped hole in their lives this Christmas?"
Robson announced the news of the new episode on Loose Women, confirming that the special has already been filmed and that the cast and crew had formed a bubble in order to make the episode.
Saying that she had been delighted to revisit Tracey, Robson revealed a couple of details about the episode and its plot.
"Dorien thinks I'm her skivvy, sending me round doing everything," she said, adding that Tracey has rigged a number of cleaning mechanisms up in the house's hallway. "Tracey has got OCD a bit like Linda ... then she brings this bloke (Dennis) into the house which I'm not happy about! It's going to be really good."
We've even had a hint about a potential future guest star for the comedy if another episode is made, with Loose Women guest Rylan Clark-Neal announcing that he is "a massive fan of Birds" and would love to be a part of a future episode.
— Loose Women (@loosewomen) November 4, 2020
And when Robson suggested that she'd like him to play her son, Clark-Neal excitedly declared: "That is a verbal contract – you've said it on the telly!"
Robson said in a statement that she is "so happy" to have filmed a new "Birds adventure", promising "lots of laughs for fans of the show."
Joseph also said that she is "so excited to be putting Dorien's high heels back on", adding: "It's been 3 years since viewers last saw us and Dorien's only gone and got herself a new man! We all need a laugh right now and I promise this special will deliver the festive goods!"
No air date has yet been announced but the special is expected to air on ITV during the Christmas period.
Loose Women airs weekdays at 12.30pm on ITV.
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