Bad Education’s Jack Whitehall: Public schools are less detached from reality than people think

"It’s not all mad, eccentric teachers and playing polo... I think the public school classroom would just disappoint people"

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Jack Whitehall, the star and scriptwriter of BBC3’s Bad Education, says public schools are “less detached from reality” than people might expect.

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Speaking to RadioTimes.com about the second series of his school-based sitcom, the 25-year-old comedian said: “They [public schools] are probably less detached from reality than people would expect. It’s not all mad, eccentric teachers and playing polo and stuff. It is actually pretty normal. I think the public school classroom would just disappoint people.”

Whitehall – who attended prestigious schools such as Marlborough College – wrote his sitcom with fellow public schoolboy Freddie Syborn. So why didn’t they draw from their own schooldays?

“We wanted to make the humour in Bad Education as generic as possible so that hopefully we were using subjects and characters that you could kind of relate to no matter where you went to school. The reason not to do it in a public school was that it would turn off quite a lot of people and have a less broad appeal.”

There haven’t really been any comedies about public schools recently. Does he think there is more comedy in state schools?

“Yeah, probably. I don’t know. I think there’s just comedy in schools and the dynamics of schools don’t change no matter where you are… That was something we were keen to try and capture.”

The second series of Whitehall’s sitcom Bad Education kicks off on BBC3 tonight at 10pm


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