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We've seen her locked in a submarine in Vigil, playing a famous 19th century lesbian landowner in Gentleman Jack and the ultimate woman scorned in Doctor Foster, but this Christmas we’ll get to see a different side of Suranne Jones in Christmas Carole.
A new comedy update on the classic Charles Dickens story, Christmas Carole will be available to stream on Sky Max with NOW from Christmas Eve.
Jones will be showing off her comedic talents, playing an unashamedly outspoken and self-centred entrepreneur, who has made her millions selling tatty Christmas produce online.
Despite her success and wealth coming from the festive season, Carole has an Ebeenezer Scrooge style view of Christmas and avoids spending it with her family at all costs.
However, on the eve of the sale of her company – which will cost all her employees their jobs – Carole gets a visit from some familiar-looking ghosts and a wild adventure begins.
Featuring an all-star cast of comedy talent, here's a quick guide to who plays who and why they believe Christmas Carole is essential viewing in 2022.
Full Christmas Carole cast list
- Suranne Jones – Plays Carole Mackay
- Jonty Stephens – Plays Eric Morecambe
- Ian Ashpitel – Plays Ernie Wise
- Nish Kumar – Plays Ghost of Christmas yet to come
- Jo Brand – Plays Ghost of Christmas present
- Taj Atwal - Plays Bobbie Cratchitt-Singh
- Danny Ashok – Plays Ashok
- Martin Delaney - Plays Barry
- Jamie Kenna - Plays Graham
- Alex Carter – Plays Ade
- Kirsty Averton – Plays Rita
- Neil Ashton – Plays Ralph
- Rosie Cavaliero - Pays Jackie
Suranne Jones – Plays ‘Christmas’ Carole Mackay
“I think by modernising the story it’s really taken a fun and unexpected twist on how you think about A Christmas Carol,” said Jones.
“It has a modern female Scrooge which feels fresh and different to the original story. My character Carole has made her wealth online selling disposable single-use Christmas decorations. She thinks she runs the world, does not care that she is making a profit from tatt and is mean to her staff.
“The story has a core message of family, like the original, but the themes are contemporary. Family relationship themes are something everyone can relate to, especially at Christmas. There is also the twist of the comedians as the three spirits of Christmas. Comedians that we all love from the past, the comedian that we best know now from the present, Jo Brand, and then a comedian that some people will be introduced to in Nish.”
Jonty Stephens – Plays Eric Morecambe
“When the opportunity came around and Anil Gupta, who's one of the writers, messaged me and Ian and presented the idea of this modern-day adaptation of A Christmas Carol, with Morecambe and Wise being the Ghost of Christmas Past, you say, ‘Of course they are. What a brilliant idea!’,” said stage star Stephens.
“We were just absolutely thrilled. All the work we’ve done with the West End shows seems to have led to this. We've been close to getting television projects before, but we were offered this project very early on in the process.
“Suranne had just been confirmed, so we were like, ‘Wow, okay’. With Morecambe and Wise being so loved by the British public and their type of clean family humour that we don't get today and the redemptive tale of Christmas Carol, it just seemed to all fit really well.”
Ian Ashpitel – Plays Ernie Wise
“I met Jonty at drama school thirty odd years ago and he was two years above me. We’ve been firm friends ever since,” explains Ashpitel
“I was even best man at his wedding. We belong to the Stage Golfing Society, it's people in the business who play golf; out of work actors, mostly. They said to Jonty, ‘Will you do a five-minute sketch as Eric?’, and he said, ‘Well, I'll need an Ernie’. And he asked me to be Ernie.
“We did the sketch, and it went quite well and they asked us to do it again and this time it just took off. We wrote a play called Eric and Little Ern; did the Edinburgh tour, did the West End twice, got an Olivier nomination.
“We've just been going ever since, really. It's been a runaway train that's just taken us with it.”
Jo Brand – Plays The Ghost of Christmas Present
“I think Suranne Jones is amazing so the opportunity to work with her was great,” said Brand. “Also, A Christmas Carol is one of my favourite books, so that was very handy as well.
“I like Dickens and A Christmas Carol chimes with my own views. However, I think at Christmas, I start off by being cheerful and positive, but by the end I'm really grumpy, whereas in Dickens' book, we see the transformation of a spiteful, mean-spirited, nasty old bloke into a generous sweet tempered one. We should all give thanks for that quite honestly!”
Nish Kumar – Plays The Ghost of Christmas Future
“What was it like working with Suranne? She was great. I don't do a huge amount of acting and arguably I'm not acting in this given that I'm largely playing myself, but I was really nervous going into it,” said Kumar.
“She was very supportive and encouraging. When I told my friend I was doing this with her, he was a bit like, ‘I mean, she's a real actor, man. Are you sure you should be doing this?’, and that is how I felt when I turned up on set the first day.
“But she was so nice and so engaged, it's a real privilege to watch somebody like that work up close. Just seeing how she gives them something different on different takes and how when she needs to do it exactly the same, she can do it exactly the same. I was chuffed to be asked to do it, to be honest.”
Stream Christmas Carole on Sky Max with NOW from Christmas Eve.
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