Resistance Is Futile

It’s Friday, December 19, and tonight Birds of a Feather returns to the nation’s television screens as one of the highlights of Text Santa, ITV’s charity marathon. Everyone knows that Downton Abbey’s contribution to Text Santa will feature George Clooney in the role of Maggie Smith’s toy-boy, but we’ve managed to keep the identity of Birds of a Feather’s surprise guest star under wraps.

If you want to know who it is you’ll have to watch the show, but here are a few clues. He’s five foot nine and a quarter, has all his own hair, has met the Queen, owns several pairs of Hush Puppies, and is under consideration as the next James Bond. Finally, his name does not rhyme with Hemmerling Cucumberpatch.

Having whetted your appetite, the new series of Birds of a Feather – the eleventh – starts properly on Boxing Day, with Tracey, Sharon and Dorien jetting off to the sun for a Christmas holiday. The Birds are in great form, as is Charlie Quirke as Tracey’s naive 17 year old son, Travis. The role of Garth, Tracey’s even more naive older son, is now played by the excellent Sam James, as Matt Willis, who played Garth last time out, has returned to the world of rock n’roll with McBusted, the surprise supergroup success of the year.┬áThe series continues on January 1, 2015, for a further seven weeks, so you may as well enjoy it; resistance is futile.