The Birds of a Feather are flying overseas as ITV announces an hour-long special which will screen this Christmas

ITV has announced that long-running Essex comedy Birds of a Feather will return this Christmas with an hour-long special set overseas.

Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph return as the original Essex girls Sharon Theodopolopodos, Tracey Stubbs and Dorien Green.

The special will see the ladies on an adventure that takes them to sunnier places they’ve never been before… far from the home comforts of Chigwell.

Pauline said: “Us birds all together abroad can only mean one thing – mayhem! I’m really looking forward to filming this feature-length Christmas special with the ladies.”

Linda said: “Thank God it’s official, us birds are all going to be doing an hour-long Christmas special not in Essex, but we’re filming abroad for the first time in nearly 20 years. I’m so excited, the storyline is brilliant and we’re all so looking forward to Shal, Trace and Dor going on an amazing adventure.”

Lesley commented: “I’m very excited to be flying abroad again with the birds for a Christmas special. I can only imagine the capers we’re going to get up to, I can’t wait to put the nails back on and create havoc wherever we land. Seriously though, I couldn’t be more happier to be working with two of my favourite people in the whole world.”

The special Birds of a Feather episode will be written by the regular writing team of creators Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, with Gary Lawson and John Phelps.

ITV’s comedy commissioner Saskia Schuster teased that travel can test the strongest of relationships and… ‘how closely will our Birds of a Feather stick together?’