The six part series is based in a secondary school and takes its comedy from a dysfunctional staff room, unrequited love and interactive white boards.
David Walliams, soon to be seen on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent as a returning judge, will play 40-something chemistry teacher Mr Church, who has taught at Greybridge School for years.
Mark Freeland, BBC head of In-house Comedy, says: “Led by David Walliams, it’s an absolute privilege to work with such a brilliant cast and off-screen production team. Like my Latin GCSE, nothing can go wrong. At least that’s what I thought at the time.”
Comedian and actress Catherine Tate plays the school’s enthusiastic new recruit, Miss Postern, who despite being a French teacher has never actually been to France.
From Life on Mars comes Philip Glenister who plays the lothario gym teacher Mr Gunn whilst Frances de la Tour from classic ITV sitcom Rising Damp will play Ms Baron, the no-nonsense, plain-speaking headmistress of Greybridge School.
Joanna Scanlan, of The Thick Of It fame, will play Mrs Klebb, the nosey and interfering drama teacher, while Steve Speirs (Eragon, Extras, Cemetery Junction) plays Mr Barber, the pessimistic geography teacher who’s counting down the days until he can retire.
Finally, Daniel Rigby will play Mr Martin, the mod-like music teacher who desperately wants to be mates with the kids and still clings to his dream of becoming a rock star.
The series will be a welcome comedy from Walliams following the news Come Fly With Me, despite having been commissioned for a second series, won’t be returning. Little Britain and Come Fly With Me comedy partner Matt Lucas also has a new series lined up to air on the BBC shortly.
Each half hour episode of Big School is a BBC Production in association with Bert Productions. Filming will commence within the next few weeks in the Greater London area. The series has been written by Walliams with The Dawson Brothers.
[Reported by Neil Lang]