David Walliams’ heart-warming children’s novel is coming to the small screen, and it looks a real treat.
When Len the factory worker invents a new type of toilet roll which is wet on one side and dry on the other, he and his family become obscenely rich. “Bum Fresh” is overwhelmingly popular, but for Len’s son, Joe, the wiping wonder becomes a double-edged sword. As his father’s attentions turn elsewhere, Joe decides to assuage his loneliness by quitting private school and joining the local comprehensive where things only get more complicated.
It’s a great story with a cracker of a cast. Find out which star goes where below.
John Thomson as Len Spud
Character? Len is the inventor of Bum Fresh, father to Joe, and now also an immensely wealthy entrepreneur. His intentions are noble, but he often puts too much stock in the power of money.
Where have I seen him before? John Thomson has been gracing British screens for decades and is best known by older viewers for his role in the nineties television series Cold Feet. If you don’t know what that is, then it’s past your bed-time and you probably shouldn’t be reading this.
Since that time John hass gone on to star in Waterloo Road and The Fast Show, as well as Aardman Animations’ Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Catherine Tate as Sapphire
Character? We ain’t saying she’s a golddigger… no, wait, that’s exactly what she is. Sapphire gets her claws into Len and won’t let go for love of money. Naturally this doesn’t exactly thrill Joe, who is more than a little suspicious of the page three ‘Stunna’ girl who is dominating his father’s time and attention.
Where have I seen her before? Catherine Tate is a woman who needs no introduction. Comedienne, actress, woman of much hilarity, Catherine has achieved a great deal over the past ten years. She was the star of her own comedy sketch programme ‘The Catherine Tate Show’, featuring a notoriously foul-mouthed grandma, and was also a fan favourite companion in Doctor Who alongside David Tenant.
James Fleet as Mr Darrow
Character? The headteacher of Joe’s new school. He might be at the top of the food chain, but he’s far from austere. Mr Darrow is The Trunchbull in reverse, a timid waif of a man who’s more likely to jump at his own shadow than dish out discipline.
Where have I seen him before? James Fleet has been acting since the early eighties, but his most popular role is certainly that of the well-meaning village idiot Hugo Horton in The Vicar of Dibley, who he continued to play for almost ten years. More recently, he’s been seen on-screen as Reverend Wakefield in the hit drama Outlander.
Rebecca Front as Miss Sharp
Character? Another eccentric member of staff at Joe’s school. Miss Sharp is Joe’s tough-but-never-terrible teacher whose fanaticism for all things opera spills out into the classroom.
Where have I seen her before? Rebecca Front’s comedy credentials include The Catherine Tate Show and cult classic Nighty Night, in which she played Cathy Cole. However the role she will most likely always be associated with is bumbling front-bench MP Nicola Murray in the acerbic satire The Thick of It. Most recently she’s been spotted the sci-fi drama Humans.
Character? Described as ‘dirty and old’, Mrs Trafe is the kind of lunch lady that nightmares are made of. Not only are her standards of hygiene sorely lacking, but she’s an abominable cook, often serving up monstrous concoctions.
Where have I seen him before? Indeed, this is the man of ‘computer says no’ fame. David Walliams is an actor, writer, funnyman and one half of the Little Britain duo. He’s also starred in Doctor Who, the 2007 fantasy film Stardust, and most recently, Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime.
Elliot Sprakes as Joe
Character? With one foot in both worlds but belongs in neither, poor Joe doesn’t feel like he belongs anywhere. As Len’s son, Joe’s fortune is predicated on the sale of toilet roll, making high society out of bounds, and to the others at his comprehensive he’s just another rich boy.
Where have I seen him before? It’s unlikely that you’ve seen newcomer Elliot Sprakes before as this is only his second appearance on the small screen.