Thirty-one years after the first episode broadcast on the BBC in 1989, ITV have announced that the show will return this year for an extended Christmas special.
It will star original cast members Linda Robson as Tracey and Lesley Joseph as Dorien – as well as the new addition Les Dennis – but Pauline Quirke will not be joining them.
To cover his absence, the broadcaster claims that his character, Sharon, will be “stuck on a COVID cruise” halfway around the world.
The much-loved comedy aired on the BBC for nine years until 1998, before being relaunched on ITV in 2014.
It revolved around sisters Tracey and Sharon, who found themselves thrown together in a Chigwell mansion after their husbands were sent to jail for armed robbery.
Neighbor Dorien Green was the third main actor in the series, providing plenty of laughs with a steady string of young male lovers.
Robson, who announced the festive special on Loose Women, said, “I’m so happy we have a new Birds adventure.
“Trace and Dor have been at odds for months. Will it be a peaceful Christmas in Essex ?!
“The script for this special is awesome – I promise we’ll have a lot of laughs for the fans of the show. ”
Joseph said: “I’m so excited to put Dorien’s high heels back on for a Christmas Birds special.
“It’s been three years since viewers last saw us and Dorien just left and found himself a new man!”
“We all need a laugh right now and I promise this special will deliver the party products. ”
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Dorien’s new flame will be played by Dennis, who tweeted he was “thrilled” to join the program.
The show’s creators, Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, who wrote the special, said, “We are so excited to help bring Birds Of A Feather back to ITV screens to give the nation some joy. seasonal in these particular times. ”
After nine series on the BBC and three series and two Christmas specials on ITV, the show was last broadcast in December 2017.
Quirke is taking a step back to focus on its performing arts academies, according to ITV.
Established in 2007, the Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts has more than 200 academies across the UK that offer performing arts classes to children and young people aged 4-18.