The original Demon Headmaster is being replaced by a new actor – but who should it be?

From Peter Capaldi to Penelope Wilton and David Walliams – here's who we'd love to see take the lead of the revived CBBC series

The Demon Headmaster

By now you’ve probably heard the Demon Headmaster will strike again, with the BBC reviving the children’s classic TV series after two decades.


However, can confirm that the upcoming series will see a new headteacher wreaking terror on a brand new school.

Despite being 81, it wasn’t completely out the question that original star Terrence Hardiman would reprise the role. After all, he’s still acting, taking up small roles in The Crown and Einstein biopic Genius.

However, has learned that Hardiman won’t be involved in the new production.

“I have happy memories of working in The Demon Headmaster in the nineties, and I wish every success to the new production. I expect to be totally hypnotised,” he told

The new brainwashing teacher won’t even technically be a headmaster: instead, the character will now be a Super Head of an Academy School.

Plus, as the new series is based on The Demon Headmaster: Total Control – a 2017 novel created by Gillian Cross, who wrote the books the original TV series was based on – it’s likely the new pupils under threat won’t have any connection to the original show.

Yup, that means no more SPLAT (10 points if you remembered it stands for The Society for the Protection of Our Lives Against Them).

Overall, we can expect some big changes ahead: as the BBC told, while they’ll be “a few treats for fans who grew up with the original show”, the new series will be “primarily aimed at new viewers”.

But despite the many breaks from the original series, there’s no reason the revived show won’t become a classic for a new generation – if the right actor takes the lead.

So who should become the new Demon Super Head? We’ve got a few suggestions and you can vote for your favourite below.

Peter Capaldi


Capaldi didn’t just prove he’d make a great school caretaker in Doctor Who: his role as our favourite Time Lord demonstrated how perfect he’d be for the Demon Headmaster post. Not only can he work up a terrifying stare if need be, but he also works fantastically with any child actor.

Rebecca Front

Rebecca Front as Lady Whitworth in Poldark
Rebecca Front as Lady Whitworth in Poldark

Sure, she’s best known for her comic roles in the likes of The Thick of It, but Front’s role as Lady Whitworth in Poldark shows she could effortlessly portray the sternness of a terrifying Super Head.

David Walliams

The Midnight Gang - Epsiodics

We all know Walliams loves a children story, himself having written 14 of them. And he’s also delivered great performances playing the villain in the TV adaptations of his stories. He might not possess the same hypnotic stare as Hardiman, but the role would certainly be safe in his hands.

Penelope Wilton

Now here’s an actor with a stare that could surpass Hardiman’s. As well as being an accomplished actor in Downton Abbey and Doctor Who, Wilton showed she can muster a truly terrifying glower as a zombie in Shaun of the Dead.

Mackenzie Crook

GQ Men Of The Year Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals

Look at those eyes and tell us he wouldn’t be able to pull off a convincing hypnotist.

Best known for his BBC comedy series Detectorists and stealing the show in The Office, Crook also showed us he could pull off a spine-tingling baddy in Game of Thrones.

Paterson Joseph

Yes, Johnson. His Peep Show part didn’t just demonstrate his comic talents, but his terrifying stare up close too. If his glare was enough to hypnotise Mark Corrigan at every turn, it’ll probably work to take over a school too.

Toby Jones

Toby Jones

From his turn as the diabolical Culverton Smith in Sherlock, to playing supervillain Dr Arnim Zola in Captain America, Jones is perfect as any baddie. In fact, he even terrified Steve Moffat by staying in character on the Sherlock set. A scarily good fit for the Headmaster role, if you ask us.