TV preview: Grantchester

James Norton as Sidney Chambers and Robson Green as Geordie Keating.
James Norton as Sidney Chambers and Robson Green as Geordie Keating.
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The first Grantchester Christmas special hits our screens this year.

Based on The Grantchester Mysteries by James Runcie and set in the meadow-strewn village just outside Cambridge, the ITV series sees James Norton’s chiselled, yet troubled, Anglican vicar, Sidney Chambers, play opposite Robson Green’s cantankerous Detective Inspector Geordie Keating.

The special, which sees 1950s Cambridgeshire heavily frosted with snow, fills the gap between series two and series three, the latter of which is currently being filmed and due to air next year.

“The Christmas special was a joy,” says Green, 51. “Beautifully written by Daisy [Coulam], it has all the ingredients for the event, and I defy anyone not to cry in the places where you’re meant to cry, and laugh where you’re meant to laugh, it’s a joy, and James is on fine form.”

There is a murder too, of course; a groom goes missing, only to be discovered dead with the wedding rings wedged in his mouth, reminding Geordie of an unsolved murder from almost a decade ago.

But Norton also promises “snow, carols, turkeys, some dodgy Christmas jumpers, more snow, a little heartbreak and a lot of Christmas cheer!”

The 31-year-old, who will be spending this Christmas with family in Yorkshire, adds: “Sidney’s role is the same as ever: balancing his duties as a clergyman with the temptations and complications of life and love and the rest.”

ITV, Christmas Eve, 9pm