Birds of a Feather made a triumphant return to our screens earlier this year 16 years after it was last aired. In the time between the original cast members – Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph – have done various theatre tours together with new stories that have delighted audiences. As the actresses film the 11th series of the hit show for new home ITV, Network have released Birds of a Feather Christmas Specials.
The DVD release features the show’s first four Christmas specials; Sailing (1989), Falling In Love Again (1990), We’ll Always Have Majorca (1991) and The Chigwell Connection (1992). It could well be the case that this release is checked out by newer fans of the show who have never seen the original series, or more like the very early series.
As is the case with Birds of a Feather, each episode puts Tracey (Linda Robson), Sharon (Pauline Quirke) and Dorien (Lesley Joseph) in some ridiculous but funny situations. Birds of a Feather has always relied on the dynamic between Tracey, Sharon and Dorien. It’s something that the show still does well today and Dorian’s man-eating nature is the butt of most jokes for warring sisters Tracey and Sharon.
The first special Sailing finds Tracey discovering that her husband Darryl (Alun Lewis) bought tickets for a surprise Christmas cruise before he got put behind bars. Sharon of course has high hopes she’ll take his place but Tracey has other plans meaning it’s up to Dorian to step in and help her friends out.
The best of the four specials included here is We’ll Always Have Majorca which features a guest appearance by a then little-known Ray Winstone. Tracey and Sharon travel to Majorca after their husbands break out of prison with the help of a disgraced rock star. Dorien of course is in tow and a surprise twist sees the women trading places with their dodgy husbands.
Falling In Love Again sees Sharon having to go to Germany to avoid her husband’s inmates wives who are out for money and The Chigwell Connection sees Tracey and Sharon trying to get their husbands out of jail by campaigning when they learn the officer who arrested them may have been compromised.
Fans of the show will absolutely love revisiting these classic episodes and they’ve aged pretty well really. The humour is sarcastic and crude, as you’d expect, and it’s a joy to spend four Christmas stories with this classic threesome. It’s no surprise that Birds of a Feather holds such a special place in people’s hearts because it’s a very funny show fronted by three very talented actresses.