Simon Farnaby on his character Julian in Ghosts

21st September 8.30pm, BBC One

6 episodes. All episodes available on iPlayer


BBC iPlayer

For Simon Farnaby coming back to film the second series of BBC One’s successful comedy, Ghosts felt like coming home...

"Returning for series two there was a real sense that the pressure was off and we could just enjoy ourselves, which is when you get the best comedy - when everyone is relaxed and having fun. Coming back and acting with those guys is like coming home, we know each other so well now it feels like we slot back into place and the laughter can begin. We have running jokes that have been going for 12 years. We all met doing Horrible Histories, which was good fun but it was really hard work and a bit like being in the trenches together, sometimes literally we would be in WW1 trenches..."

Simon was pleasantly surprised by Ghosts’ success and especially pleased that it is bringing families together...

"We are on BBC One, which is great as it will reach a lot of people and is the Holy Grail for us. When I heard the figures for Ghosts series one it was a real joy. I have a friend who works in TV who told me we were the most watched comedy of 2019… I was surprised and very pleased to hear that. It is wonderful that people sit down and watch it with their young ones. A family audience is our aim, to get families sitting down together. I love crossing that age threshold within an audience, it’s fantastic."

Simon gives us a hint as to what is in store for the ghosts in series two and divulges a few of his favourite moments from filming...

"In the new series we get to find out more about Julian’s past, which has been great to explore. We see some of his family life and in the Christmas special we draw upon that and we get to find out about his home life and he even learns a couple of lessons about life. Part of the joy of the show is to learn to value life and think about what happens when it’s not there anymore, what that means and the people you have left behind.

"However the wedding was probably my favourite episode to film this series because the house was transformed and it looks incredible. Imagine a wedding but there are ghosts in attendance as well... It is quite a sight. Julian’s favourite thing is a wedding because there is booze and women’s bottoms to pinch and dancing. He likes to dance, a lot. It is more fun dancing as Julian than it is myself. It’s easier to assume a character whilst dancing, I find it quite challenging when I am dancing on my own, I’m never quite sure what I am meant to be doing.

"There is a party as well in the series and for the same reasons that is good fun. There are a lot of supporting artists and so we had lots of people in the house and it was great. Post Covid it is going to be hard to film party scenes so we should relish them. There was also a fight scene and that was quite challenging because we had to work out how ghosts would fight so that one should be quite interesting to watch."

Simon tells us what makes Julian such an enjoyable role to play...

"There are no filters on Julian; he is not worried about offending anyone. These days everyone is quite easily offended, especially with social media, and so you have to be very careful about what you say. Julian is from an age where he feels like he can say what he wants and doesn’t mind if he offends anyone, he has his opinions and he is sticking to them and he doesn’t really care what anyone thinks. For example, there is a wedding and he thinks it is fine to pinch the bridesmaids on their bums and for him that is a great sign of affection and he sees nothing wrong with it. It is quite good fun to play someone who has no morals."

Simon also enjoys filming in the incredible, old and creaky house in Surrey. He reveals some of the house’s spooky secrets…

"The house is great; it has so many fascinating stories. There is one story about when they found a bag that they think had the head of Sir Walter Raleigh in, and apparently his wife used to wear it around her waist. They found this bag in the attic or somewhere, it was in the papers.

"I would be fine to stay there over night by myself as long as I could light a fire in one of the wonderful fireplaces. I imagine you’d hear some bumps in the night but I don’t personally have a fear of ghosts. I have never heard of anyone being killed by a ghost so I wouldn’t be too worried. It is a bit spooky but it is more of a thrill than anything else. Although, it’s a pretty chilly place especially if you’ve got no trousers on…"

Source BBC iPlayer

September 21, 2020 7:05am ET by BBC iPlayer  


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