Frasier spoilers follow.
The actress will reprise her role as Dr Frasier Crane's former radio producer Roz Doyle in this week's episode 'Reindeer Games' as a Christmas treat for fans.
Roz surprises Frasier by showing up after getting a call from his son Freddy (Jack Cutmore-Scott) about the curmudgeonly professor having the holiday blues.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gilpin explained that the cameo was a way to honour late co-star John Mahoney (aka Martin Crane) – who passed away in 2018.
"I just loved getting to do it," Gilpin said. "It was a fantasy come true to play that part again and to go back into that world. And there's bittersweet things because it makes me so sad when I think about John. I miss him. He was a great friend, but I feel like they dealt with that."
The actress went on:"They go back to John every chance they can and they refer back. They refer back to Cheers. They refer back to our first Frasier and I feel like we're kind of a part of it. It felt very comfortable there and wonderful and it was really funny.
"It's like a comfort when you watch it. You're like, 'Oh my gosh, I get to see this again. It's new, it's fresh, but I am getting the same feelings I got from watching it the first time.'"
Gilpin is also open to the possibility of making another appearance as Roz "if that's a possibility, if that's something that happens".
"I loved the character because I loved that I got to go someplace that is very much me, but that I'm afraid to go to out in the world," Gilpin added. "In my family – growing up in my family, and in my family now – I can be as smartass as I want to be and I really enjoy that. But I really loved being able to play that and say all the things that we're thinking, but we don't get to say."
Roz isn't the first Frasier character to turn up in the reboot, as Kelsey Grammer's Cheers co-star Bebe Neuwirth also reprised her role as Frasier's ex-wife Lilith Sternin.
Frasier season 1 is available to stream now on Paramount+.
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