Chris McCausland & Lee Mack to star in Sky Original festive special ‘Bad Tidings’

Rebekah Staton, Sarah Alexander and Ben Crompton join the cast as production commences at Sky Studios Elstree

Monday 8 April 2024

Chris McCausland (The Wonders of the World I Can't See) and Lee Mack (Doctor Who, Inside No. 9, Brassic) star in Sky Original ‘Bad Tidings’, a mischievous festive special about two perpetually feuding neighbours in Stockport who become unlikely heroes, saving their street from notorious burglars with wacky booby traps and Great British banter. Written by BAFTA-winning team Laurence Rickard & Martha Howe-Douglas (Ghosts, Horrible Histories) with Chris McCausland, hilarity and hijinks will commence on production this month at Sky Studios Elstree with the special set to air on Sky and NOW this Christmas.

Joining the cast alongside McCausland and Mack are Rebekah Staton, Sarah Alexander, Ben Crompton, Emily Coates, Josiah Eloi, Millie Kiss, Tupele Dorgu, Sunil Patel, Susan Kyd and Donna Preston.

‘Bad Tidings’ follows a tradition of successful festive Sky Originals loved by Sky customers and star a wealth of British talent. Last year, ‘The Heist Before Christmas’ starring James Nesbitt, Timothy Spall and Laura Donnelly, was the biggest rating Sky Original of 2023 and followed 2022’s ‘Christmas Carole’ staring Suranne Jones, and 2021’s ‘The Amazing Mr Blunden’ staring Simon Callow, Tamsin Greig and Mark Gatiss.

This year’s Sky Original Christmas special revolves around grumpy home-security expert Neil (Mack) and his neighbour Scott (McCausland), who insists on keeping his Christmas lights illuminated all-year-round. And mixing up their bins, criticising Neil’s ‘project’ car and generally winding him up. Basically, Scott’s a git. He’s also blind and all the other neighbours think he’s great. 

When Scott is appointed head of the Neighbourhood Watch, Neil is the only one to question his suitability for the role. Their tit-for-tat argument culminates in Neil triggering a power-cut across the entire street. On Christmas Eve. 

Everyone is forced to evacuate, and Neil and Scott are left alone and on guard. But the local crime family decide to rob every house on the street in a single night, and the pair must set aside their differences to defeat them. They’ve got no lights, no cameras, no alarms and one of them is blind. Which might just be an advantage… 

Chris McCausland said: “Talk about a back of an envelope idea that has got out of hand, we are now making a Christmas comedy film and it's going to be awesome. I can't wait to get up to some hilarious mayhem with Lee and bring some festive spirit into people's living rooms this Christmas!”

Lee Mack added: “I love Chris McCausland, I love the script and I Iove Christmas. Where do I sign?”

‘Bad Tidings’ is written by Laurence Rickard & Martha Howe-Douglas with Chris McCausland, and is produced by Sky Studios. The film is directed by Tim Kirkby with Adnan Ahmed from Sky Studios producing. Anil Gupta Executive Produces for Sky Studios. NBCUniversal Global TV Distribution handles international sales on behalf of Sky Studios.


Dominic Collett

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