The cast of BBC Ghosts have a long working history dating back to their time on Horrible Histories and Yonderland.
Although Ghosts premiered in April 2019, most of the actors first worked together long before then.
In fact, six of the actors playing Ghosts also write the show – Mathew Baynton (Thomas Thorne), Simon Farnaby (Julian Fawcett), Martha Howe-Douglas (Lady Button), Jim Howick (Patrick Butcher), Laurence Rickard (Robin/Humphrey Bone) and Ben Willbond (The Captain).
In a show about ghosts trapped together for centuries, why not have actors who’ve collaborated for... well, not quite that long, but you get the picture.
The actors’ real-life chemistry and familiarity with each other as scene partners helps sell the premise.
On BBC Ghosts, the actor-writers primarily play one character with an occasional second character, such as a plague ghost.
Meanwhile, on Horrible Histories, the cast played several characters between them in a single episode.
Speaking of Horrible Histories, the show’s claim led to a BAFTA Children’s win in 2011.
Ghosts was almost a decade away at this point, but the actors unknowingly sewed seeds for their future show in the below video.
In particular, pay attention from around the 4.50 mark.
The interviewer asked the group about which historical time they would like to live in.
As the cast of Horrible Histories, this is of course very topical at that time.
Simon Farnaby, who went on to play trouser-less MP Julian in BBC Ghosts, said he would like to go back to the Stone Age.
Laurence Rickard, who later played Robin the caveman on Ghosts, responded. He commented that Farnaby would be a good caveman.
All of the cast played their fair share of cavemen on Horrible Histories. In theory, any of them could have interjected, it’s just wonderfully ironic that it was Rickard.
Fellow cast member Jim Howick, also known as Pat Butcher, added, “think of the make-up, Simon!”
Case in point: Rickard plays both Robin and the head of Humphrey Bone, who bear little resemblance to each other. It’s easy to miss the fact of the same actor playing both roles.
To this end, Rickard addressed his extensive make-up for Robin in a 2019 tweet. This was not long after series one aired.
Farnaby’s final retort had Julian written all over it. He said being a caveman meant “you could get to mate with whoever you like.”
Four series of Ghosts have aired to date, with a fifth series coming later in 2023.