David Walliams adapts Grandpa’s Great Escape for TV | Jennifer Saunders and Tom Courtenay lead the cast © BBC

David Walliams adapts Grandpa’s Great Escape for TV

Jennifer Saunders and Tom Courtenay lead the cast

David Walliams is adapting his children’s bestseller, Grandpa’s Great Escape,  for BBC One this Christmas.

Jennifer Saunders, Tom Courtenay and Walliams himself will star in the tale of a wartime flying ace now suffering Alzheimer’s disease and living in an old folks’ home.

It is the fifth David Walliams book to have been adapted for a BBC Christmas special following Mr Stink, Gangsta Granny The Boy in The Dress and Billionaire Boy.

Courtenay will play Grandpa and Saunders Miss Dandy, the villainous owner of the Twilight Towers home. Kit Connor will play the  grandson Jack, who helps plot the pensioner’s daring escape. Walliams plays Jack’s dad Barry and Grandma’s House star Samantha Spiro will be mum Patricia.

Walliams said: ‘I am thrilled to be working with acting and comedy royalty on this adaptation of my book. I have loved Tom Courtenay forever and I still can't believe that I am working with him. He is the perfect Grandpa.  And what a treat to be working with comedy genius Jennifer Saunders again.’

 The  BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning, Shane Allen, added: ‘This heart-warming story about the close relationship between a boy and his grandfather continues the rich tradition of BBC One family pieces at Christmas by connecting young and older viewers together.’

Grandpa’s Great Escape is being made by King Bert Productions, the company Walliams founded with Miranda Hart and others, and will be directed by Elliot Hegarty, who previously worked on Bad Education.

The screenplay is adapted by Walliams and Kevin Cecil, who also adapted Gangster Granny and Billionaire Boy.

Published: 22 Sep 2017

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