Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Sir Kenneth Branagh praises David Mitchell ahead of Upstart Crow cameo

Sir Kenneth Branagh praises David Mitchell ahead of Upstart Crow cameo (Gary Moyes/BBC)
Sir Kenneth Branagh praises David Mitchell ahead of Upstart Crow cameo (Gary Moyes/BBC)

Sir Kenneth Branagh has said he has fulfilled a “much-cherished ambition” by starring alongside David Mitchell in sitcom Upstart Crow.

Sir Kenneth appears in the Christmas episode of the Ben Elton-penned parody series, in which Peep Show star Mitchell portrays playwright William Shakespeare as he tries to launch his career from humble beginnings.

Known for starring in and directing a number of Shakespeare adaptations on the big screen, Sir Kenneth plays a mysterious stranger for his stint in the BBC Two comedy.

A Crow Christmas Carol
Sir Kenneth Branagh in Upstart Crow (Gary Moyes/BBC)

First-look pictures show the actor in two guises for the Dickens-inspired episode, called A Crow Christmas Carol, which sees his character sharing with Shakespeare a tale of redemption, filling him with love, hope and light.

He said: “This year I fulfilled a much-cherished ambition by playing comedy with the brilliant David Mitchell.

“I have Ben Elton to thank for including me in his blisteringly funny and very touching Christmas special of Upstart Crow. It’s a show I love watching and was honoured to join.”

He praised the “brilliant cast and crew” and said it helped to inspire him for his forthcoming film All Is True, in which he plays the playwright in his retirement years, which was also penned by Elton.

Sir Kenneth added: “David’s Shakespeare is taller, funnier and sexier than mine, but mine is older and fatter, which at least offers you a choice.”

Mitchell said, of working with the Oscar-nominated actor: “I was incredibly excited and nervous at the prospect of working with Kenneth Branagh, who I have admired for decades, but I’m sorry to say that he was less personally terrifying than I’d expected.

“He was, though, friendly, easy-going and charming, but at the same time full of funny ideas and brilliant at acting.”

Upstart Crow: A Crow Christmas Carol airs on Christmas Day at 8.35pm on BBC Two.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]