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Beyond Paradise joined by Bridgerton and Endeavour stars for Christmas Special

Kris Marshall and Sally Bretton in the Beyond Paradise Christmas special
(BBC)

Beyond Paradise is back and better than ever! Following the enduring success of season one; Kris Marshall, Sally Bretton, Zahra Ahmadi, Dylan Llewellyn, Barbara Flynn and Felicity Montagu are all returning to Shipton Abbott.

Beyond Paradise Christmas special scene with Kris Marshall, Sally Bretton and Zahra Ahmadi
The Beyond Paradise Christmas special will focus on a series of bizarre burglaries (BBC)

Gifting fans with a Christmas special, the BBC has also confirmed a stellar lineup of guest stars. Among them, Bridgerton and Vicar of Dibley actor, James Fleet, will appear, as well as Endeavour alum, Amalia Vitale, Still Open All Hours' Kulvinder Ghir and Benidorm's Sheila Reid.

Bridgerton and Vicar of Dibley star James Fleet in Beyond Paradise
Bridgerton and Vicar of Dibley star James Fleet has joined the cast (BBC)

So, what can fans expect from the upcoming instalment? In an official synopsis, the BBC teased: "As the residents of Shipton Abbott gear up for Christmas, Humphrey and the team are baffled by a series of bizarre burglaries which aren't quite what they seem. However, when the team make a breakthrough with an unexpected connection, it's a bittersweet discovery that makes them reconsider the true meaning of Christmas.

Still Open All Hours' Kulvinder Ghir, and Benidorm's Sheila Reid close-ups
Still Open All Hours' Kulvinder Ghir, and Benidorm's Sheila Reid will also star in the Christmas special (Getty)

"Back at the station, Kelby is forced to babysit a cheeky young shoplifter and Humphrey feels the pressure when CS Charlie Woods continues to question why their beloved local police station should remain open. Meanwhile, navigating the trials and tribulations of family life, Esther's teenage daughter, Zoe (Melina Sinadinou), is less than impressed when she is made to work in Santa's Grotto. And a chance encounter gives Martha food for thought about the future…"

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With the Christmas special set to premiere in December, fans can also rest assured that a second season of Beyond Paradise is in the works. Scheduled to air in 2024, the cast and crew have remained tight-lipped about the finer details, although they have shared a few nuggets of information.

Catching up with HELLO! at the National Television Awards in September, leading man Kris Marshall said: "This season is bigger. We're better, we're bigger. We've got murders, we've got puzzles, we've got fires, we've got boats, we've got steam trains, we've got all sorts – it's a big show."

Beyond Paradise promotional poster featuring all the main cast and Looe in the background
Beyond Paradise will also return with a second season next year (Todd Anthony)

Kris' co-stars Zahra Ahmadi and Dylan Llewellyn – aka DS Esther Williams and PC Kelby Hartford – echoed this sentiment when we asked them about season two.

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"It's like season one but upgraded. It's amped up," replied Zahra. "Some of the episodes have higher stakes," agreed Dylan.

Beyond Paradise cast stand in front of a wall of paintings from episode three.
Season two will take a closer look at the characters' backstories (BBC)

Teasing a more in-depth look at each of the characters, Zahra elaborated: "It goes into all of our characters a bit more. It goes into the backstory of our characters and things. So the focus really is on the crime but you get to know everyone that bit more and get to know their back story.