‘Last Tango In Halifax’ Christmas special Part 1 review

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Hoorah and thank goodness, Last Tango in Halifax is back!

It’s been the best part of the worst twelve months for many people around the world, and not least of all for Caroline in Harrogate. Left holding the baby and mourning the loss of her wife Kate, Caroline makes some drastic moves by packing her job in and selling her house. Moving from her life of comfort and luxury in to what Kirstie Allsop would call a ‘do-er upper’ in Huddersfield, where the damp house may, or may not be haunted, and with Celia and Alan in tow.

Whilst I love watching Alan and Celia (Anne Reid really does triumph in this role), and I suspect that they will be more centre stage in the second part of this Christmas tale, the joy of Last Tango is surely in the ever developing relationship between the unlikely step-sisters Caroline and Gillian.

Sarah Lancashire continues her glory role as Caroline, and whilst neither of the women are funny or even slightly on the light hearted side, their comic timing and dryness is a wonder to behold. When a large Christmas family meal falls apart and only Caroline and Gillian turn up, we’re reminded of how much heart and love this series has, without an inch of saccharine or cheese, but with a big dollop of humour.

Whilst everyone else seems to be sliding into the gutter John’s life seems to have moved upwards in leaps and bounds. The last time we saw him he’d been refused by Gillian and Caroline and now he’s back with Judith, who has sobered up and is fast becoming the next J.K. Rowling (2016 wasn’t a total washout for everyone). It’s great to see Ronni Ancona back as the troubled and always miserable Judith. Even in the good times she’s still a great baddie.

Over at the farm Gillian has been settling into married life with Robbie, and as one would expect that doesn’t seem to be plain sailing either. In one of the best comedy moments of the year, Gillian (the fabulous Nicola Walker) nearly kills Robbie in the shed. By accident of course, but it was laugh out loud brilliant, and as Robbie nearly bleeds to death, this is surely one of the best scenes you’ll see on television this Christmas.

There’s no sign of Brother Gary (Gillian’s half-brother who met last series and paid for her wedding) and only a brief glimpse of Greg, which is a shame because there’s potential to have a new type of man around the place, but Sally Wainwright does a wonderful line in strong and believable women, and the women of Halifax are more than enough to keep driving this witty and clever look at family life and love across all ages.

Thankfully there’s a second part to watch, and I can’t wait for it to get started.

Aired at 9pm on Monday 19 December 2016 on BBC One.

Buy the complete Season 1-3 box set on Amazon here.

Did you enjoy the return of Last Tango in Halifax? Let us know below…