David Walliams to star in new school sitcom

Friday 24th August 2012, 11:39pm

David Walliams' Awfully Good. David Walliams. Copyright: Crook Productions.Little Britain star David Walliams is set to take the lead in a new BBC One sitcom series set in a secondary school.

Autumn Leaves, a working title for the six-part series, is centred on the school's staff room. The BBC says the show is "a comedy about a dysfunctional staff room, unrequited love and interactive white boards."

Walliams is set to play a chemistry teacher who's hopelessly in love with the school's new French teacher, who in turn is being chased by a lothario gym teacher. "It's as if Grange Hill has met Remains Of The Day," the BBC say.

The show is being written by Walliams alongside The Dawson Brothers. This writing trio - Andrew Dawson, Steve Dawson and Tim Inman - have previously worked as gag writers for shows like Lee Mack's All Star Cast, You Cannot Be Serious! and 10 O'Clock Live. They're also known for writing sketches for series including The Kevin Bishop Show and The Omid Djalili Show, and recently piloted their own BBC Three Feed My Funny comedy, Dawson Bros. Funtime.

Autumn Leaves is to be an in-house BBC production, and will air on BBC One in 2013.

David Walliams says: "I am delighted to be back at the BBC, writing and acting in a new sitcom. My co-writers, The Dawson Brothers are brilliant. I met them when they wrote sketches for The One Ronnie, and I have loved collaborating with them. The read-through of the first episode attracted a stellar cast, and I hope the series will too."

Schools are a popular setting for sitcoms, with previous comedies including Please Sir!, Bonjour La Classe and Bromwell High. Teachers, which ran between 2001 and 2004 on Channel 4, was a popular comedy drama that included many staff room scenes, and parent-centric Gates has recently launched on Sky Living. Bad Education, Jack Whitehall's new BBC Three sitcom focussing on an inept teacher, has also just been given a second series as its opening two episodes scored well in the ratings.

Keen readers may note, in fact, that the brief synopsis suggests Autumn Leaves shares more than a setting with some of its predecessors: Dear John.... was a sitcom about a maths teacher whose wife had run off with his best friend and colleague, a PE teacher; whilst Bad Education sees Whitehall's character hopelessly in love with science teacher Miss Gulliver. Meanwhile, Bonjour La Classe also focussed on a French teacher, and the centre of much action was again the staff room.

Little Britain, the hit sketch show which brought Walliams and comedy partner Matt Lucas to fame, also set sketches in school. Below is one such example:

Can't see a video here? Watch this clip on bbc.co.uk

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