September 28, 2020
The BBC sitcom hinges on the spirited relationship between its two stars. Yet there’s more to the man who plays Mike – including a novelty grime hit about chicken
In the BBC sitcom Ghosts, two modern-day herberts, Mike and Alison, inherit a mansion populated by ancestral spirits. You’d think viewers would be outraged by the absurdity of ghosts who can pass through walls while walking on solid ground, or the implausibility of twentysomethings’ first step on the property ladder being a 14-bedroom hall, but no. Instead, in 2020, some are more perturbed by the fact that Mike is black and Alison white. “I’ve seen a lot of comments about that and even if you look at the trailer on YouTube there’s people complaining that, ‘It’s all interracial couples on television nowadays’,” says Kiell Smith-Bynoe, who plays Mike. “I understand that’s how some people feel.”
Then, over the video link from his home, Bynoe-Smith gives me a cheeky grin. “And it also makes me a bit happy. I’m like, ‘You can comment all you like on YouTube but you can’t do anything about it. It’s been commissioned – another two times.” A third series of Ghosts was commissioned before the second aired.