Press clippings Page 9

The second series of Jack Whitehall's crazy popular Bad Education has been available on iPlayer for a while now, but you know what, we're TV purists and have decided it's worth waiting to see it premiere in all its glory on the big(ger) screen. Keep your laptops and your smart telephone android things, youths!

That wait is finally over this week when the comedian's bumbling teacher Alfie Wickers, who's now sporting a retro bowl cut, kicks off a new term by bribing his long-suffering class into taking part in a swimming gala organised by clueless headmaster Fraser (Mathew Horne) after taking a bet from the terrifying Miss Pickwell (Michelle Gomez). Oh blimey, there's surely only one way this can be heading... Jack Whitehall in Speedos.

Daniel Sperling, Digital Spy, 1st September 2013

It receives its TV debut on Tuesday, but those looking to catch Jack Whitehall's classroom comedy early can watch it on iPlayer, as part of BBC Three's quietly revolutionary policy of premiering all of its comedy online. Bad Education's still not essential by any stretch, but Whitehall's impudent presence, not to mention that of the always-great Michelle Gomez, means that it remains watchable.

Gwilym Mumford, The Guardian, 31st August 2013

If Bad Education was a child, it would be one of those bright but infuriating kids with ADHD who fly around the room never quite settling at anything. One whose moments of brilliance are punctuated by tiring bouts of 'look at me, look at me' daftness.

At least Jack Whitehall's comedy - debuting on BBC iPlayer - feels like it's taking place in the 21st century unlike David Walliams and his oddly dated Big School. Whitehall's hopeless goon of a teacher, Alfie Wickers, one of those types who wants to be mates with the kids rather than, you know, actually teaching them anything, feels absolutely in tune with the way education is going.

And, in-between descending into cringe-making farce, Whitehall mines comedy gold from potshots at Mumford & Sons ('you're too young to appreciate a good dinner-party anthem when you hear one') and his ill-fated efforts at convincing colleague Miss Gulliver of his boyish charms. Efforts not entirely dissuaded by her admission that she bats for the other team.

'I am angry and aroused and upset,' was his reaction to her sudden conversion to lesbianism. 'But mostly aroused.' When he's dishing out the banter, Whitehall is a sharp writer. But a lot of Bad Education flails around in the shallow end of physical comedy, with extended sequences at a swimming gala failing to make much of a splash.

That said, it did allow the somewhat niche delight of watching Mathew Horne's head (teacher) attempting to break in a pair of Speedos and Whitehall streaking around the corridors, blinded by a horror-movie spin on a chlorine allergy that made him look like a Doctor Who alien. It was high on energy but low on subtlety, driven by the false assumption that physical freakiness is so funny it requires no other target.

Whitehall should ditch the slapstick and stick to the staff and classroom sniping. Because when he does it's A*. Otherwise, it's an epic fail.

Keith Watson, Metro, 28th August 2013

BBC Three is launching all its new scripted comedy online ahead of being broadcast on ye olde-fashioned telly.

First new kid out of the block is the second series of Jack Whitehall's school room farce, available tonight a week ahead of its official BBC Three premiere.

Whitehall's character, Alfie Wickers, is still a tragic plonker, getting his trunks in a twist at the school swimming gala and fantasising over his imaginary relationship with foxy Miss Gulliver (the excellent Sarah Solemani).

All that, though, is trumped by Mathew Horne's 'down with the kids' headmaster and his extraordinary barnet, a triumph of dodgy coiffing if ever there was one.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 27th August 2013

Jack Whitehall interview

Jack Whitehall discusses the second series of Bad Education.

Elliot Gonzalez, I Talk Telly, 27th August 2013

Giving Alfie our worst characteristics

With Bad Education, Jack and I give our worst characteristics to Alfie in a competitive way.

Freddy Syborn, BBC Blogs, 27th August 2013

TV preview: Bad Education, BBC3

Out of Bad Education and Big School so far Bad Education easily tops the league, passing with flying colours when it comes to laugh-count, which is what you really want in a sitcom after all.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 26th August 2013

Jack Whitehall's Bad Education ended as it began, a baffling mix of great lines ('Pol Pot and Paul Potts, I always get those two mixed up') and misfiring scenes even Waterloo Road would have thought twice about. Still, it's worth a second term, if only to find out who's living in Mathew Horne's hair.

Keith Watson, Metro, 19th September 2012

One of the chief joys of Jack Whitehall's sitcom is the superb supporting cast. Mathew Horne plays the tragically uncool head teacher, who longs to be everyone's best mate, to the chagrin of his cringeing staff. Equally hilarious is Green Wing's Michelle Gomez as the menacing, maroon-lipped deputy head who dreams of running the school like a concentration camp. Finally, there's Sarah Solemani as the hippy art teacher who loses her rag after our hapless hero, Mr Wickers, hijacks the school elections.

Claire Webb, Radio Times, 18th September 2012

Everyone is on the campaign trail in this final episode of a series that never quite lived up to its potential. Jack Whitehall's slacker teacher wants one of his miscreants to thwart a junior politician-in-the-making for the job of school president, while Fraser (Mat Horne) campaigns to get his job back after a misdemeanour in the exam hall sees him suspended - much to the undisguised, flared-nostrilled glee of Michelle Gomez's evil Miss Pickwell.

Sharon Lougher, Metro, 18th September 2012

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