As if the BBC One comedy Ghosts hadn’t established itself as an everlasting Christmas present in her short life, Jennifer Saunders’ introduction as Lady Fanny Button’s mother Lavinia put the ribbon on it.
It was just a specter of appearance, but she stole the show in the Christmas Ghost Special like the domineering Edwardian-era mother desperate for her daughter to be engaged and out of her hands.
Lavinia’s dialogue came with the comedic sauce on French & Saunders The star is famous for: One example was when she reminded Lavinia of another girl’s romantic success: “Seven years your junior and Gladys just got married to a lord… Lord!”
Later, as the family faced scarcity due to her father’s gambling, Fanny was offered to the son of a wealthy dynasty. “These people have a ballroom, Fanny … A ballroom!” exclaimed Lavinia.
Jennifer Saunders was a perfect choice for Lady Buttons mom! Loved having more history in the life of LB #Ghosts #GhostsBBC23 December 2021
Many others agreed that Jennifer was “perfectly chosen”, while Ghosts has attracted fans of all faiths including Useless host Richard Osman, who tweeted: “#Ghosts Christmas special followed by # Last Christmas on BBC2. The perfect TV night.
Another fan was only disappointed by the brevity of Lavinia’s stay: “Loved it #Ghosts Christmas Special, Jennifer Saunders was great. Too short though.
Sadly, even though her cameo was a hit with viewers, it is unlikely to be repeated, with no guest star plans in the future. Writer Jim Howick (who plays Pat Butcher) said The Express: “When we chose Jennifer, it was a lot because it was a Christmas special.
“I think it’s probably fair to say that the fact that it’s a stage and that it’s there – it’s a full stage if that makes sense.”
A disappointing revelation, but at least that long-awaited half-hour of Christmas TV lived up to its hype.
After all, there aren’t many shows that can get a “Fanny” trending on Twitter.