Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson will star in a special Christmas episode following the comedy's return to our screens for a second series this year...

Harry Potter star Emma Thompson will make a special cameo appearance as Queen Elizabeth I in this year’s Upstart Crow Christmas Special.

The actress will star opposite David Mitchell, who plays iconic playwright William Shakespeare in the hit BBC2 comedy. But if Christmas 2017 seems a long way off, never fear, as a second six-part series is due on to hit our screens before then!

Created by Blackadder writer Ben Elton, the sitcom was originally conceived as a part of the BBC’s Shakespeare festival last year. The programme follows the quest of William Shakespeare to make it as a playwright in London, whilst juggling family life with his loved ones in Stratford-upon-Avon, with the new series featuring references to Shakespeare masterpieces such as Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night and many more.

The entire cast, including Harry Enfield (Will’s dad), Paula Wilcox (Will’s mum), Gemma Whelan (Kate), Steve Spiers (Burbage) and many others, will return for the new series which will see the scribe and his chums embark on a new series of adventures.

David Mitchell stars as William Shakespeare

A BBC press release says…

“This series reveals some of the surprising stories behind Will’s plays, including a brush with an African general (Steve Toussaint) who takes a shine to Kate; a cut-price trip to Verona to look for inspiration; a collaboration on a new comedy with madrigal maestro Thomas Morley (Noel Fielding); a shrewish teenage daughter who may or may not need some “taming”; and a very frantic visit to Stratford that reveals the original inspiration for Falstaff.

“We also meet Simon Hunt (Geoffrey Whitehead), the schoolmaster that made Will’s life a misery in his boyhood and looks likely to do the same again; and at Christmas Will finds himself summoned before the Queen to present a special performance of the early draft of Twelfth Night, working title Eighth Night; and of course along the way there’s a great deal of wit, ale, pies and women dressing as men…”

When asked how he felt about a second series being commissioned, David Mitchell said: “Perhaps the hardest part of being in a new series of Upstart Crow is the challenge of improving on the quote I gave for the press announcement of the first series – a challenge which I have come to the conclusion I am unequal to.”