Lesley Joseph admits making the 'Birds of a Feather' Christmas special without Pauline Quirke was "very strange".

Lesley Joseph

Lesley Joseph

The 75-year-old actress has reprised her role as Dorien Green for the Christmas special, but Pauline - who played Sharon Theodopolopodous in the long-running sitcom - opted against appearing in the show.

Reflecting on her absence, Lesley said: "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."

Linda Robson reprised her role as Tracey Stubbs to make the Christmas special.

But she also admitted to missing her long-time co-star.

She told ITV's 'Lorraine': "Of course we missed her."

Despite Pauline's absence, Lesley and Linda, 62, were both still thrilled to return to the sitcom.

And Lesley has promised fans they'll be able to enjoy a "very funny episode" this Christmas.

She said: "I think we’ve got too much love for them really. So Linda and I needed to carry on with Tracy and Dorien really.

"But I think there’s a lot of life in the old girls yet, to be honest, I think we’re still alive and kicking. It’s a very funny episode."

The official synopsis of the Christmas special recently teased details of the episode.

It reads: "Tracey and Dorien have been getting right on each others’ thruppennies, while Sharon has escaped to the other side of the world and is stuck on a COVID-cruise … Who can fill the Sharon-shaped hole in their lives this Christmas?"

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