Big School. Image shows from L to R: Miss Postern (Catherine Tate), Mr Church (David Walliams). Copyright: BBC / King Bert Productions
Big School

Big School

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC One
  • 2013 - 2014
  • 12 episodes (2 series)

Sitcom about the dysfunctional staff room, unrequited love and interactive whiteboards of an urban secondary school. Stars David Walliams, Catherine Tate, Philip Glenister, Frances de la Tour, Joanna Scanlan and more.

Press clippings

Big School ends, as David Walliams makes BBC sketch show

It's been confirmed that Big School, the sitcom created by David Walliams, has ended. The star is now working on a new sketch show instead.

British Comedy Guide, 13th July 2015

Last in the series of the school-based sitcom, our final lesson being about sharing. When a stove sets the French classroom a flambé, the finger of blame is pointed at Mr Barber, after it emerges he's been making it his temporary home. The caretaker finds himself shacked up with reluctant roommate Mr Gunn, who, it turns out, lives a less fast-paced lifestyle than he'd been promoting. Post-blaze, Miss Postern shares a newly designated French/science learnspace with Mr Church, leading to a mixture of delight and displeasure for the latter.

Mark Jones, The Guardian, 10th October 2014

Radio Times review

Sharing is not a concept the teaching staff understand at Greybridge School. So Trevor's not happy when caretaker Gareth, who's sleeping in the classrooms, moves in with him - and then makes moves on his mother Rita (Michele Dotrice). It changes Gareth so much - "The voices in my head have gone, I'm not drinking from puddles any more" - that he even thinks he's ready to be a geography teacher again.

Also sharing (although a classroom rather than a bed) is Miss Postern and Mr Church. It's not the most sparkling end to the series, although the moment Catherine Tate's nose collides with a car window is a real gem of slapstick comedy.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 10th October 2014

Radio Times review

The last time we saw young Jack Carroll he was on the Britain's Got Talent stage delivering a sharply comic routine (he was runner-up to Attraction). Here he plays Dean who has been enrolled at Greybridge School because of bullying at his last school, which makes Miss Postern very excited indeed because, as she's quick to point out, she's especially good with troubled kids and bullying is her specialist subject.

It leads to Catherine Tate doing a very good impression of a stroppy teen being ousted from the classroom, while Last of the Summer Wine fans will also enjoy a sequence that's faintly reminiscent of the famous runaway bathtub scene.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 3rd October 2014

Big School, series 2

Big School is a British Sitcom that began last year and was highly successful and incredibly popular. It has a common set up, being set in a regular secondary school, but the two main roles are filled by the nation's sweethearts, and comedy legends, Catherine Tate and David Walliams. The double act is striking because it blends two of the biggest comic actors from when I was very young, and I wouldn't necessarily have thought they could work so well together. But, God, do they.

Becca Moody, Moody Comedy, 21st September 2014

A team of Ofsted inspectors arrives at Greybridge secondary, and that means the teaching staff need to temporarily go about their everyday educational duty with an added sheen of competence. With Mr Church explaining the concept of hydrogen using a gossamer-thin bodysuit and Miss Postern mistaking Ofsted for a charity, the odds are stacked against a positive outcome. Luckily, headmistress Baron is on hand to deliver an air of professionalism. Well, just as soon as she's wafted the whiff of Acapulco gold out of her office.

Mark Jones, The Guardian, 19th September 2014

Radio Times review

Ofsted inspection tomorrow: an announcement that scares the teaching staff at Greybridge School more than most. And with good reason - the most positive comment in the entire report is that the school has an adequate number of bins.

You can see exactly where this episode is going even before chemistry teacher Mr Church dresses up as a hydrogen atom (but looks more like a sperm) and Miss Postern makes a lame attempt at playing Le Bingo (she forgot to tell the class the numbers were in French). But Frances de la Tour is as wonderful as ever, especially after she samples the drugs she has confiscated from a pupil.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 19th September 2014

Radio Times review

Greybridge School's embarrassing Parent Teacher Consultation Night is something all the staff would like cancelled... especially as it's held on the same night as Bake Off. Even head teacher Ms Baron (Frances de la Tour) hates the occasion, although her hilarious description of what she'd rather do is too disgusting to repeat here.

However, PE teacher Mr Gunn (Philip Glenister) is anxious about it for a very personal reason. He believes he is the father of a boy he teaches at the school. "Oooh, it's better than an episode of Waterloo Road," squeaks the comely Miss Postern (Catherine Tate) when he confides in her. She's right - it's much, much better than that.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 12th September 2014

This David Walliams vehicle - devised by the Dawson Bros and the man himself - is now on its second series, a mysterious feat for a school-based sitcom loaded with toilet jokes and rubbish innuendo. Rather than embracing its student contingent (see: Bad Education), far too much time is dedicated to the teachers. This week, hapless French pedagogue Miss Postern (Catherine Tate) is out to woo a new colleague, whose disability is played out for some predictably un-PC laughs. Big but not very clever.

Hannah J. Davies, The Guardian, 5th September 2014

Radio Times review

Mr Church and Mr Gunn are locked in their ridiculous competition to win the affections of needy, passive-aggressive school siren Miss Postern. It's her birthday but no one cares, apart from the frenzied Church.

As the second series of David Walliams's school-set sitcom hits its stride, there are more daft gags, but Big School manages not to be sent for detention because of the great cast - Philip Glenister, Catherine Tate, Walliams himself - who throw everything into it.

Some of the jokes go on too long, including a laboured bit of business involving a hunky, blind new geography teacher, and the whole thing is often breathtakingly coarse (a running joke about gay sex, for instance). But Frances de la Tour as the lubricious head steals every scene and it's always good to see Steve Speirs doing his mournful Welsh thing, here as the useless caretaker.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 5th September 2014

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