The League of Gentlemen
Christmas Special

Starring: Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton & Reece Shearsmith
BBC Worldwide Publishing

RRP: £19.99

Certificate: 15
Available now

Christmas Eve in Royston Vasey and Reverend Bernice receives three unexpected visits from members of her congregation. Each has a bizarre tale to tell with a strange twist...

After a rather disappointing third series for The League of Gentlemen the BBC's release of The League of Christmas Christmas Special made me realise how easy it is to get the balance wrong. This collection of three spooky stories is fantastically amusing. And the production doesn't stick to familiar territory. For one of the segments we are transported out of Royston Vasey for a look at Herr Lipp's homeland.

This disc has plenty to keep any League fan amused for hours, including interviews with cast and music composer, commentary and an interview. There is also a festive game of hangman hidden on one of the menu screens. Complete the words correctly and you will be treated to one of the groups 'before they were famous' home made movies.

It was while flicking through the extras that I suddenly realised that the cast really got lucky with their first two series. Their home made movies are, quite frankly, embarrassingly poor and unfunny and the third season of The League of Gentlemen proves that they were a short lived, if very funny, phenomena.

This disc has more subtle moments which remind you why the BBC had a hit on its hand for two series. And Liza Tarbuck appears in a great cameo. This is the last truly original work that the cast produced.

If you are still reeling from the turkey that was series three, then pick this up. A wonderfully entertaining DVD stuffed full of extras.

Pete Boomer

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