Downton Abbey came so close to having a merry f*cking Christmas the likes of which you couldn’t imagine. Well, provided you like your Santas a bit on the naughty side.
UK channel ITV held its annual Text Santa charity event on Friday and that included a special sketch from PBS import Downton Abbey featuring auditions from assorted stars itching to play Santa. Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville), Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) and Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton) serve as the judging panel that braves a funny and surreal parade of would-be Father Christmases. It’s not quite as star-studded as last year’s go-around (which boasted handsome charm beacon George Clooney), but you still get folks like Warwick Davis, Jim Broadbent and Vera mode Brenda Blethyn popping in for a bit of fun.
The crown jewel in this strange carnival? Beloved shouty chef Gordon Ramsay throws his metaphorical hat (because he’d never cover those locks) in the ring as a potential Kris Kringle contender. His cake scored well with the judges, but the healthy dollop of f bombs? Not so much. It’s a shame because the man you can always count on for STRONG feeling about risotto made a pretty solid pitch as to why he should be Downton’s Santa.
I’m f*cking perfect for Santa. I’m the jolliest f*cking Santa you will ever get to f*cking meet.
Not only do you get this marvellous interaction, but you’ll also be pleasantly surprised to learn that Ramsay’s “festive” language is actually Downton inspired. Hmm… We may have said too much.
Deadline Hollywood reports that the 2015 edition of ITV’s Text Santa event was a major smash. The three hour special raised £8.5M for Macmillan Cancer Support, Make-A-Wish UK and Save the Children. That total marks a new record for this fundraiser.
The final season of Downton Abbey (sans Ramsay) will air on PBS on Jan. 3.