Two Doors Down Christmas special 2022: Everything you need to … – HeraldScotland
GENTLY falling snow, unexpected generosity and high jinks over a lost item are among the cheer and calamity packed into the Christmas special of the BBC Scotland sitcom Two Doors Down.
This year sees the action swap from Latimer Crescent to a cosy coffee shop where the gang – played by Elaine C Smith, Arabella Weir, Alex Norton, Jonathan Watson, Siobhan Redmond, Jamie Quinn, Kieran Hodgson, Joy McAvoy and Grado aka Graeme Stevely – take a break from shopping.
Alan (Stevely) is in the bad books with his wife Michelle (McAvoy), while Christine (Smith) is facing the lonely prospect of spending the festive season on her own. Things never go quite to plan for the rambunctious neighbours, but could a Christmas miracle be about to unfold?
Here, Quinn and Hodgson – who play on-screen couple Ian and Gordon – share their best and worst Christmas moments, providing hilarious insight into an array of fun-filled annual traditions.
What were the highlights of filming the Two Doors Down Christmas special?
Jamie Quinn: Weirdly, it was the set this year: the coffee shop. I have worked on some amazing sets in my time, including spaceships and war sites with bombs going off, but for some reason, this coffee shop, I loved it. They built the entire thing – inside and out – at the BBC studios at Dumbarton.
Kieran Hodgson: The fact I got to spend the entire week filming while eating brie and cranberry Christmas ciabattas. Everyone else in the cast was having to eat sandwiches. But I am a greedy pig and loved the ciabattas.
Which characters would you invite to dinner and who would be barred?
Quinn: I wouldn’t be so mean as to bar any of them. Well, maybe Cathy in her time – or Colin if he was playing up. I would have all of them there. Beth and Anne Marie would be great to help with the dinner. Gordon would be good for party pieces and games of charades. As long as you kept Colin on his best behaviour, he would be fine. Eric would be nice to share a wee dram with.
Hodgson: I would bar everyone except Eric. I would talk to him at length about his career working on the railways. I feel this is an aspect of the show that hasn’t been explored enough. I would love to hear all about the electrification of the line out to Helensburgh, which I think he played a part in. It was briefly mentioned a couple of years ago and I am always longing for him to talk about it more.
Do you have any festive traditions?
Quinn: My brother always cooks a buffet on Christmas Eve. He does old-school food – a bit like a kids’ party – with sausage rolls, pickles, chipolatas and that kind of thing.
Hodgson: Every Christmas Eve, everyone from my village – Holmfirth in West Yorkshire – goes to a pub called The Nook and we all dare each other to stay out as long as possible without getting a hangover on Christmas Day.
Some people win that game, and some people lose it very badly. What’s the latest I have managed to stay out without getting a hangover? Usually, 12.30am is the cut-off. After that, things get messy because you are eating into Christmas Day itself.
Best childhood Christmas present?
Quinn: The one that sticks out the most is the first electric guitar I got. I was 12 or 13. It was an American Series Fender Stratocaster. I’ve still got it, and it is my favourite guitar to this day.
Hodgson: A bow and arrow I got when I was eight and then immediately lost in the snow on the Christmas Day walk. I cried all the way home because I couldn’t find it. The life lesson was the real present, I think.
Quinn: My lack of skill in wrapping presents. My brother huffs and puffs every year. I don’t even attempt to do it – I just roll it into a big ball and wrap the tape around quickly. It looks like a small child has wrapped it.
Hodgson: My own behaviour when I was a child and my aunt got me an Asterix book. I said, “I have already got that one” and stormed off. I remain bitterly disappointed in myself to this day. That memory haunts me. I was around seven at the time.
Who does the Christmas Day cooking and what is on the menu?
Quinn: My brother Kevin will be doing the cooking. He is part Santa, part Gordon Ramsay. He normally does a couple of meat options – a chicken, maybe pork or a bit of beef. We are not big turkey people. He tends to do a chicken with all the trimmings instead.
In short, he does all the work and I disappoint with my pathetic present wrapping. I like to say that I bring the vibe and the chat, while he brings the cuisine.
Hodgson: I am a married man and do alternate Christmases between my parents and my in-laws. This year, I will be with my in-laws, so they will be cooking. Much like Gordon, I will be having the vegetarian option. And also, much like Gordon, simply because I want the attention.
So, we don’t need to cook – my parents or in-laws do it. The exchange is that my partner Stuart and I travel hundreds of miles up and down the country to see them. So, it feels like we are all making an effort in different ways – well, at least, that is what I tell myself.
Any festive faux pas or disasters?
Quinn: The first year my brother cooked Christmas dinner, I said, “Let’s go to the pub beforehand.” He hadn’t quite finished the prep, we had a few too many pints, then the meal didn’t go as planned. The timings all went wrong, and he burnt things. And, of course, he blamed me.
Hodgson: Very boringly every Christmas I have ever had has been perfect. I can’t think of a single disaster.
What is your favourite Christmas food?
Quinn: I enjoy all the trimmings but there has to be a sauce – preferably a thick gravy – and plenty of it. I like Brussels sprouts but dry Brussels sprouts? Then we have a problem. I love a roast and Christmas dinner is just a fancy roast, isn’t it?
I don’t like a creme brulee. There is usually a creme brulee kicking about somewhere. I stay away from that. Even the name annoys me a little bit.
Hodgson: Brie and cranberry ciabattas. I love the great big Christmas breakfast – it is the best meal of the year. We won’t open our presents until all the plates are completely clear. Both my mother-in-law and my dad make the best scrambled eggs in the world – they are jointly tied on that.
The Christmas food I don’t like is the Wensleydale that has bits of raisins in it. I feel it is trying too hard and it gets left on the side of the cheeseboard.
What would be your dream present under the tree?
Quinn: I am not materialistic, so I will go for the cheesy answer and say I would like everyone in my life to be happy and content. That would be enough for me.
Hodgson: A sustainable agreement between the staff and managers of Avanti West Coast. I would love to find that under the tree.
Who would you like to have around the dinner table?
Quinn: All my friends, family and loved ones. As for historical figures? John Lennon, Jesus Christ and maybe a philosopher like Nietzsche. That would be some good chat.
Hodgson: The staff and managers of Avanti West Coast because then they could have a few snowballs and glasses of champagne and it would put them in a really good mood to make that agreement and make everyone’s lives better.
If you can have “beer and sandwiches at Number 10”, you can have a glass of prosecco and some filo prawns at my house. Would I like to swap acting for life as a trade union official? Erm, no. It is too much like a real job. I am scared. I am going to go back down the tinsel mines …
Any TV traditions or must-watch movies?
Quinn: My favourite festive movie, without a doubt, is Jingle All The Way with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad. Followed closely by Bad Santa starring Billy Bob Thornton. I do like an action film but is Die Hard a Christmas movie? I will throw that one out there …
Hodgson: My parents don’t laugh at anything more than Home Alone, so that must always be watched on Christmas Day. My favourite movie is A Christmas Prince 2 because the main plot revolves around a general strike in the fictional land of Aldovia.
Two Doors Down Christmas Special is on BBC One Scotland, Friday, 10.05pm and BBC Scotland on Christmas Eve, 9.45pm
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