Decline And Fall. Paul Pennyfeather (Jack Whitehall). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Decline And Fall

BBC One comedy drama adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's 1928 novel. 3 episodes (1 series) in 2017. Stars Jack Whitehall, Eva Longoria, David Suchet, Douglas Hodge and others.

Decline And Fall. Image shows from L to R: Philbrick (Stephen Graham), Predergast (Vincent Franklin), Margot Beste-Chetwynde (Eva Longoria), Paul Pennyfeather (Jack Whitehall), Peter Beste-Chetwynde (Oscar Kennedy), Dr Fagan (David Suchet), Captain Grimes (Douglas Hodge). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions / BBC.

Decline And Fall

Adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's 1928 novel about a young teacher falling in love with the aristocratic mother of one of his pupils

Comedy Drama
3   (1 series)
Jack Whitehall, Eva Longoria, David Suchet, Douglas Hodge, Stephen Graham, Vincent Franklin, Oscar Kennedy, Gemma Whelan and others
Evelyn Waugh and James Wood
Guillem Morales
Matthew Bird

The first television adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's 1928 satire, marking 50 years since the author's death.

Paul Pennyfeather is an inoffensive divinity student at Oxford University in the 1920s, who is wrongly dismissed for indecent exposure having been made the victim of a prank by The Bollinger Club.

Finding work at Llanabba, an obscure public school in Wales, he meets the Honourable Mrs Margot Beste-Chetwynde, who is the mother of one of the pupils. For Paul it is love at first sight, but little does he know the surprises that lie ahead of him when he agrees to tutor her son over the summer holidays.

Of his casting as Paul Pennyfeather, Jack Whitehall says: "I am extremely pleased to be a part of this amazing adaptation by James Wood. I've been a fan of this book since I read it as a teenager, and I just hope that I can do it justice."

Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: "One of the greatest comic novels of all time, this satirical masterpiece is long overdue a television debut. Waugh deploys comedy and tragedy to point up prevailing institutional corruption and the dehumanising consequences of elitism, very timely and apposite for today. James has done a terrific job of getting to the core of it, and the writing has attracted a fantastic cast."

Production Details

Production companies
Laugh track

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Friday 31st March 2017 on BBC One at 9pm
Last new broadcast
Friday 14th April 2017 on BBC One at 9pm
Length of episodes
1 hour

Website links