Birds Of A Feather Christmas special
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Birds of a Feather Christmas special: Where is Pauline Quirke?

It isn't quite the same without Pauline

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Classic comedy Birds of a Feather returned for its Christmas special tonight (Thursday December 24).

Subtitled We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, it saw Tracey and Dorien reunite for the first time in three years.

But fans were asking: where was original star Pauline Quirke?

Pauline Quirke in Birds Of A Feather
The Christmas special is without Pauline (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

Where was Pauline Quirke in the Birds of a Feather Christmas special?

Pauline, 61 – who plays Sharon Theodopolopodous in the series – turned down the chance to appear in this Christmas special.

Speaking on Lorraine, star Linda Robson – who plays Tracey – said:  “She obviously chose to do something else and that’s why she’s not in it.”

Read more: Birds of a Feather: ITV confirms plans for one-off Christmas special

Birds of a Feather
The Christmas special aired tonight (Credit: Hare and Tortoise/ITV)

Lesley Joseph, who plays Dorien, added: “We did miss her and it was a very strange feeling because as you said we’ve been together for over 30 years so there’s an incredible bond

“I think Pauline wants to concentrate on other things which I totally get that’s absolutely fine.”

“I don’t think Linda and I wanted to leave these characters behind yet.”

How is her absence explained in the show?

The show explained Pauline – and Sharon’s – absence.

Sharon had escaped to the other side of the world, it said, and was stuck on a Covid-cruise.

Les Dennis was a household name before birds of feather
The former Family Fortunes host guest stars in Birds of a Feather (Credit: ITV)

What is Les Dennis famous for?

Christmas special guest star Les, 67, became a household name in the 1980s when he appeared on Russ Abbott’s Madhouse.

From that success, he teamed up with comedy partner Dustin Gee in The Laughter Show on BBC One.

However, after Dustin tragically died in 1986, Les went solo and landed a job presenting Family Fortunes.

He married Amanda Holden in 1995, but they divorced in 2003.

The classic series of Birds Of A feather
You can still watch classic episodes (Credit: UKTV)

What happened to the husbands?

In the original series – shown on BBC One – best friends Sharon and Tracey moved in together after their two husbands were sent to prison.

Tracey always said she would stand by her man Darryl, but she got a shock in the last series.

In series seven, Darryl and Chris were back.

However, it didn’t take them long to get up to no good again.

Read more: Birds of a Feather stars in ‘talks’ over a lockdown special

Last series, Tracey received news that Darryl had died, and had to make arrangements for his funeral.

Dorien had also been married to Marcus but her adultery and his secret mistress meant that the marriage didn’t last long.

Where to watch the old series?

You can watch the classic, BBC series of Birds Of A Feather on UKTV’s video-on-demand service UKTV Play.

It’s free and all you have to do is register.

Follow the link here to watch.

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