Bad Education - In The Press

It's sports day at Abbey Grove School and fearsome South African PE teacher Preet (a brilliant Harry Peacock) returns to make Alfie's life a total misery. All the running and jumping enables Jack Whitehall to show what a good physical comedian he is, as Alfie gets pummelled and pursued by the amorous, psychotic newcomer. There's the additional embarrassment of having his Dad (Harry Enfield) on hand.

This is predictable and silly comedy, but there's a charm and warmth at its heart (especially in Alfie's solicitousness towards his students) that carries the day. The boy's an idiot, but at least he's a nice, funny one.

Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 30th September 2014

Having played many young reprobates I can safely say that Mitchell is the most exciting and shocking. His constant abuse means I get to insult Jack Whitehall and the other cast members on a daily basis!

Written by Charlie Wernham. BBC TV Blog, 23rd September 2014

The rude school sitcom, starring Jack Whitehall as the spectacularly loyal, endearingly thick teacher Alfie Wickers seems to have improved a notch from the slightly flat opener. Here we have a contrived but confident episode, which uses the classic trick of forcing our hero to be in three places at once.

So there's the fantasy convention organised by Alfie's tragically pitiable colleague (Mathew Horne), his girlfriend's book group and student Mitchell's leaving party. Will it go wrong? Of course it will... up to a point. Because just as with Whitehall's posh buffoon from C4's Fresh Meat, you wish Alfie well against your better instincts. And the writers don't let you down.

Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 23rd September 2014

A busy week for Alfie, who has to simultaneously attend Miss Gulliver's book group, pupil Mitchell's leaving do, and headmaster Fraser's live-action roleplay night (while dressed as a hobbit). Boisterous as ever then, but there's a sense that Bad Education is training its sights beyond schoolyard smut in its third series, with some gentle commentary on Michael Gove's school reforms ("He wants to get the kids to write with quills," reports Fraser), and strong guest turns from Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns as a pair of orcs.

Gwilym Mumford, The Guardian, 23rd September 2014

Somebody who appears to have no desire to be a fully-rounded grown-up just yet is Jack Whitehall, whose sitcom Bad Education returned for a third series. In the series opener, Whitehall and co-writer Freddie Syborn tried to convince us that much had changed over the holidays. Tarty Chanelle was becoming engrossed in her studies, brainy Ying had become an existentialist and wheelchair-bound Rem Dog had turned Emo. However, I wasn't convinced that anything had changed at all as Bad Education still contained the same juvenile jokes and the recurring gag that Alfie Wickers (Whitehall) was the world's worst teacher. Although things appeared to be turning around for Alfie due to his blossoming relationship with Miss Gulliver (Sarah Solemani) the arrival of his father Martin (Harry Enfield) at the school look to threaten his domestic bliss. Martin threatened to sack one of the teachers due to Abbey Grove's limited budget and the prime target looked to be his idiot son. However, just before Martin could fire anyone, the teachers went on strike with the resulting consequences making Alfie question his teaching abilities. Just when I thought that Alfie's new attitude would make Bad Education interesting again things reverted back to type as the kids once again began to slack off in lessons. Once again I found that the most enjoyable moments of Bad Education featured Matthew Horne as woeful headteacher Fraser who was more interested in selling his new invention, the Segdesk, than he was at running the school. Horne appears to be having so much fun in the role that it's hard not to enjoy his scenes however I personally wish he'd appear more. Meanwhile the young actors who portray Alfie's class are full of energy and eager to make the show as funny as possible. Unfortunately I feel that Whitehall is phoning his performance in this series whilst Solemani is under-utilised as the principled Miss Gulliver. Whitehall recently claimed that this would be the final series of Bad Education, which I feel is the right move as it now seems to be rehashing old ground. I'm just hoping that the sitcom reverts to the quality set by its first series as I'd love it to end on a high rather than peter out with a disappointing final run.

The Custard TV, 22nd September 2014

Bad Education is welcome, light-hearted, puerile, peculiarly British relief. Abbey Grove has a new deputy who, worse luck for Jack Whitehall's character Alfie, turns out to be his dad (Harry Enfield). Or, put another way - headteacher Fraser's way - there's a new banterlope at the watering hole. Fraser (Mathew Horne), incidentally, has started a new clothing range, Dolce and GoBanter.

Someone needs to go, to save money. There are interviews. Not Fraser, says Fraser. He is a "succeedophile ... a massive unrepentant succeedophile and you better put me on the goddam register sister, cos I will reoffend ... at succeeding."

Not Alfie either, says Alfie, who insists he's not feckless: "I've got loads of feck, I'm a fecking motherfecker so why don't you three just back the feck off ..." I know, very much the same kind of idea as the succeedaphile one. And very silly. But still funny.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 17th September 2014

Bad Education is so-so comedy, a puerile teenage rampage written by adults who should know better.

Written by Jasper Rees. The Daily Telegraph, 16th September 2014

Jack Whitehall's secondary school-set sitcom Bad Education is back on BBC Three tonight for its third - and potentially final - series. We sat down with the 26-year-old comedy star before the show returns to our telly screens to find out where he stands on...

Written by Ellie Walker-Arnott. The Radio Times, 16th September 2014

As the veteran comic returns to the BBC Three series he explains that taking on the role of the Dad to Jack Whitehall's Alfie Wickers is the worst thing he could do to his own children... and that was rather the point.

Written by Ben Dowell. The Radio Times, 16th September 2014

Here's 5 reasons why you should get involved with Bad Education.

Written by Sarah Deen. Metro, 16th September 2014

Back for a new term at school, the third series of the super-childish Bad Education has some new faces in the classroom... and one of them is Harry Enfield.

The comedy legend has made occasional appearances as the dad of Jack Whitehall's idiotic and needy teacher Alfie Wickers but is now the headmaster. And as well as making puerile jokes about his son's sexuality, budget cuts mean that he has to sack a member of staff, with Alfie the most obvious candidate.

This is a comedy that requires a bit of patience. It is idiotic, perhaps even offensive at times, and Whitehall's character does not seem enormously different from the posh buffoon he plays in Channel 4's Fresh Meat. But there's something engaging about this ensemble, it's skilfully directed and sometimes the gags do hit home. Will we ever look at Whitehall again without thinking of him as "a Topshop Peter Sutcliffe"? I think not, Sir.

Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 16th September 2014

As Bad Education, the sitcom both written by and starring the 'comedy king', returns to BBC Three for its third series, here's why we think Jack Whitehall has become such a popular performer.

Written by Rachel MacGregor. Metro, 16th September 2014

The third series of Jack Whitehall's sharp secondary school comedy kicks off with some big surprises for his incompetent educator Alfie Wickers. Abbey Grove's new deputy head is none other than his dad Martin (Harry Enfield), and money worries at the school mean that Alfie's job is on the line. As usual, the pupils are on fine form: as the teachers begin a strike, Stephen's (Layton Williams) ignorance sparks a hatchet job from a local journalist, while Joe (Ethan Lawrence) struggles to adapt to his newfound veganism.

Hannah J. Davies, The Guardian, 16th September 2014

When asked at the screening what his favourite scene has been, Jack Whitehall hinted that this may be the final ever series of Bad Education - "It's basically the last scene of the series when Alfie says goodbye to the kids."

Written by Elliot Gonzalez. I Talk Telly, 12th September 2014

Schooldays are the happiest days of your life? Well, there are plenty of belly laughs in the BBC Three classroom with the third series of Bad Education.

Written by Bruce Dessau. Beyond the Joke, 10th September 2014

Jack Whitehall, who plays Alfie, to chat about the final series of Bad Education.

Written by Nick Fiaca. TV Choice, 9th September 2014

Jack Whitehall has said that he will have to make some changes to his BBC comedy Bad Education following this week's cabinet reshuffle.

Written by Harry Fletcher. Digital Spy, 18th July 2014

Jack Whitehall, who will star in An American Education for ABC, and told Digital Spy that the script by Peter Huyck and Alex Gregory had not "butchered" the BBC show.

Written by Morgan Jeffery and Daniel Sperling. Digital Spy, 21st February 2014

Bad Education's Christmas special saw Alfie Wickers facing another big problem, as he'd been tasked by the headmaster (Matthew Horne) to direct the school play or face being sacked by the governors. Inevitably his ramshackle group of students are roped in to be the stars of the show with Stephen (Layton Williams) being the only one with any discernible talent to speak of. Alfie is then shocked when school bully Frank (Jack Bence) auditions for his production and delivers an incredibly awful audition. But because Alfie is incredibly scared of Frank he casts him as the human lead opposite Stephen in his original production Robocracker a combination of Robocop and The Nutcracker.

Elsewhere, Alfie is attempting to impress Miss Guilver (Sarah Solemani) by volunteering at a soup kitchen where his class are insulted by a mouthy tramp (played by Whitehall's Fresh Meat colleague Greg McHugh).

Right at the start of the Bad Education Christmas Special, Horne and Whitehall warn us that festive editions of shows are often sloppily written with a loose seasonal feel. I would say that was true of Bad Education to an extent as it just didn't have the energy the sitcom normally possesses. The funniest moments were provided by Steven, whether it be his one-man production of Precious or his performance in the incredibly entertaining Robocracker.

Overall, while I can't say I wasn't entertained, I just expect a little bit more from Whitehall and his class of talented young actors.

The Custard TV, 24th December 2013

Yes, it sent up teachers convinced they're the next Terence Rattigan, with Alfie writing a multi-faith mash-up of Robocop and The Nutcracker. But that was about as satirical as it got. Whitehall's script relied once more on toilet humour and tired, tasteless digs at 'the fat kid', 'the kid in the wheelchair' (who is given Twister for Christmas) and the homeless.

Written by Lucinda Everett. The Daily Telegraph, 18th December 2013

The ubiquitous Jack Whitehall wrote and stars in this school-based comedy, back for a badly behaved Christmas special. Fed up with the nativity, his hapless history teacher invents a new festive story, a cross between Robocop and Nutcracker: Robocracker.

Sitcom staple Sarah Solemani plays the altruistic art teacher, while Mathew Horne sports an elf costume as the immature headmaster fond of tragic puns ("Snow-k?" "Yes sir, yours-elf?") Look out for Greg McHugh, Whitehall's co-star in Fresh Meat, as an expletive-spewing tramp.

Claire Webb, The Radio Times, 17th December 2013

This is one of those shows that looks like it was filmed in the blazing heat of the British summer with the cast sweltering in their winter woolies as they get up to their usual mischief, with a bit of soppy sentimentality lobbed in for good measure like a lucky sixpence in a Christmas pud.

Written by Bruce Dessau. Beyond the Joke, 17th December 2013

With a glut of costumes, Christmas songs and festive trappings, the Bad Education Christmas special is far from an understated affair. Forced to put on a play by elf/headmaster Simon (Mat Horne), the reluctant but unfazed Alfie (Jack Whitehall) must use the questionable student talent at his disposal to stage a story which incorporates every major world religion.

Sensitivity and subtlety not being Alfie's fortes, the Robocop- Nutcracker hybrid that he creates isn't exactly traditional Christmas fare. Silly, fun and light-hearted, Bad Education is patchy and seldom cerebral, but it still makes for an entertaining half-hour. Filled with puns, cultural references, extravagant dance routines and displaying a distinct lack of either taste or tact, it's a gaudy smorgasbord of verbal and physical comedy. Even the most committed of scrooges may find this raises a smile.

Dylan Lucas, Time Out, 17th December 2013

Jack Whitehall, fresh from retaining his crown as King of Comedy, takes a crack at that old favourite, the school nativity play, with the help of his Bad Education reprobates. A somewhat uneasy marriage of Robocop and The Nutcracker, teacher Alfie's ambitious production finds room for tolerance channelled through the medium of expressive dance, guest turns from Frances Barber as Alfie's mum and Howard from Fresh Meat (Greg McHugh) as a thespian tramp, and no shortage of near-the-knuckle humour. Not forgetting some clinches with no need of mistletoe to pack some heat.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 17th December 2013

With Jack Whitehall due to reprise his role as the toffish, self-deprecating teacher in a US pilot next year, Alfie Wickers is arguably one of the most successful characters in Brit comedy today. This seasonal outing of the sitcom is a triumph of awkwardness, as Alfie combines RoboCop and The Nutcracker for the school play. There's even a role for bully Frank, who shows his sensitive side. Meanwhile, headteacher Fraser tries to organise a Christmas miracle: a reunion between the hapless Mr Wickers and his estranged mother.

Hannah J Davies, The Guardian, 17th December 2013

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