David Walliams to star in Sue Townsend comedy The Queen And I

Friday 21st September 2018, 5:39pm

David Walliams.

Samantha Bond and David Walliams are to star in The Queen And I, a one-off comedy for Sky One.

The comedy drama, which will be shown on the channel this Christmas, is based on the book published by Sue Townsend in the 1990s.

The story sees the British government ordering the Queen to abdicate, resulting in Elizabeth and Philip being forced to go and live on a council estate in the Midlands.

The book's blurb explains: "When a republican party wins the General Election, their first act in power is to strip the royal family of their assets and titles and send them to live on a housing estate in the Midlands.

"Exchanging Buckingham Palace for a two-bedroomed semi in Hell Close (as the locals dub it), caviar for boiled eggs, and servants for a social worker named Trish, the Queen and her family learn what it means to be poor among the great unwashed. But is their breeding sufficient to allow them to rise above their changed circumstance or deep down are they really just like everyone else?"

Samantha Bond will play the Queen, with Walliams as Prime Minister Jack Barker. Walliams, who acts as executive producer on the project, revealed the news on Twitter, posting a picture of him holding the script:

The cast list will also include Amanda Abbington, Francis Barber and Johnny Vegas.

The book has been adapted for the screen by Stephen Russell, whose CV includes Shameless, We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story and Dave Allen At Peace.

Filming is being overseen by King Bert, the production company part-owned by Walliams and Miranda Hart.

Managing Director Jo Sargent says: "The Queen And I is a truly unique, feature-length adaptation of the late Sue Townsend's original novel and we at King Bert are so proud to be bringing her incredible work to the screen. Our wonderful cast, led by Samantha Bond and our very own David Walliams bring the storyline to life in the way that only they can. We're delighted to be working with Sky One, which is such a natural home for comedy of the highest quality, and I can't wait for viewers to see the show when it airs later this year/next year."

Townsend, who is best known for her series of Adrian Mole books, died in 2014. Writing on Facebook, her family confirmed: "We are proud to be working with King Bert on the fantastic The Queen And I."

The Queen And I will be shown on Sky One this Christmas.

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