David Walliams’ Grandpa’s Great Escape set to air on BBC1 this Christmas

The World War II flying ace's adventures will be brought to life in a festive TV special

David Walliams

An all-star cast including Tom Courtenay and Jennifer Saunders will bring David Walliams best-selling children’s book Grandpa’s Great Escape to life on BBC1 this Christmas.

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Walliams is teaming up with Kevin Cecil – who also adapted the author’s Gangster Granny and Billionaire Boy for TV – to write the screenplay for the new adaptation, which will air in December.

Grandpa’s Great Escape tells the tale of Grandpa, a World War II flying ace, who now sadly suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. When his family can no longer look after him he is moved to an old people’s home called Twilight Towers, run by Miss Dandy.

It soon becomes clear Miss Dandy is running Twilight Towers for her own ulterior motives and it is up to Grandpa and his grandson Jack to make a daring escape. Failure could have the most dire consequences but success will give Grandpa a final chance to relive his past and once again take to the sky in his beloved Spitfire.

Courtenay will star as the titular grandpa, Kit Connor will play his grandson Jack and Saunders will fill Miss Dandy’s shoes. Walliams will also make an appearance as Jack’s dad Barry, while mum Patricia will be played by Babs star Samantha Spiro.

“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”, said Walliams.

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning said: “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”.

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Grandpa’s Great Escape will air on BBC1 this Christmas