Harry Enfield: Being in Bad Education is embarrassing for my children
As the veteran comic returns to the BBC3 series he explains that taking on the role of the Dad to Jack Whitehall’s Alfie Wickers is the worst thing he could do to his own children.. and that was rather the point
Bad Education, the rude school sitcom starring Jack Whitehall, is returning to BBC3 for a third series and among the faces coming back to the classroom is Harry Enfield.
The comedy legend has made occasional appearances as the father of Whitehall’s idiotic and needy teacher Alfie Wickers, but in the latest episode Enfield's character has risen up in the world from the feckless parent who slept in his car and had an affair with one of Alfie's teacher colleagues in the last series.
Now Enfield's Martin Wickers is being put in charge of the school ahead of Mathew Horne’s hapless former headmaster Mr Fraser (who is demoted) and is tasked with sacking a member of staff in order to save money.
But whichever character faces dismissal - and Alfie Wickers is obviously a prime candidate - one thing is clear: the main reason that Enfield has returned to the role.
“I’m embarrassing my kids by being in Bad Education,” Enfield told RadioTimes.com with a laugh just prior to filming the current series.
“I have also known Jack since he was a kid but there is this joke going on. When I first appeared the gag with the Dad is that he’s divorced and then he falls for this teacher. He stays with Jack [Whitehall] and shags his teacher in his bed. So it’s a lot of noise and horrible…so the idea is that Jack is embarrassed but really it’s the worst thing I could have done to my kids.”
Enfield has a teenage son and two younger daughters and says that they have a particular interest in comedy despite their father's obvious attempts to be as embarrassing as possible.
He told us: “My son is very comedy literate. Just about the only thing he doesn’t like is me. My son’s 16. He wouldn’t say he doesn’t like what I do but if I say a joke in front of him, he tends to not laugh. He is very much into The Thick of It and Inbetweeners."
Bad Education is on BBC3 at 10pm on Tuesdays