Crisps or cheese, lie-ins or cars, birthdays or chicken… these are the Either/Or posers that the Ghosts team used to while away time between filming. There was also a Spotify-based birth-year music quiz too (presided over by quizmaster Jim Howick), and other parlour game inventions of various stripes. The Ghosts green room sounds like fun, and for many of the cast, it’s the thing they say they’ll miss most about making the show.
“Hopping into the green room, arguing about crisps or cheese…” says Adefope, picking her stand-out memories. Returning to the same location (West Horsley Place in Surrey, the stately home that stands in for Ghosts’ Button House) every January for the last five years felt like going back to a new term of school, says Adefope, “putting on your bag, high-fiving everyone,” and with a little mime that gets a big laugh “…smoking”.
Kiell Smith-Bynoe, who plays non-ghost-seeing Mike, husband to Charlotte Ritchie’s Alison, feels the same about the green room. “You don’t even know who’s going to be in there, but you know it’s going to be sick.” Smith-Bynoe has two favourites. His second is “being in the car with Charlotte”, he says to an agonised wail from Ritchie, tilting her head to blink back tears. The two of them have a car-based in-joke. “It’s not really funny but we laugh.”
“Blaupunkt,” Ritchie laughs and pats at her wet eyes. “We’ve been saying that to each other for five years.” It’s the name of the sound system in the car where those two film scenes away from the rest of the cast. It’s where they both feel the most free, and the most cabin feverish. Hence: Blaupunkt.
After a call-back to an early bit about the location’s award-winning toilets, Simon Farnaby, who plays disgraced, trouser-less MP Julian, says that he’s going to miss the laughter most of all. It’s a rare non-gag moment from him, the group’s most difficult-to-pin-down member. ( “It’s like being in the green room, except Simon’s here,” Larry Rickard joked when taking his seat on stage. “Where am I usually?” asked Farnaby, to which came the answer: “Playing golf!” Smith-Bynoe picked the joke up by greeting Farnaby, after five years of co-starring with him, with “It’s great to meet you.”)
Being briefly serious, Farnaby continues. “I don’t just mean the laughter on set, though that’s part of it. I’ll miss the laughter between us and in between takes and in the green room, because they’re really funny people. There’s a lot of laughter – shrieks of laughter from Martha – and I’ll miss that sound. I’ll miss that sound.”