The Radio Times logo

When is the Demon Headmaster remake coming to TV? Who’s in the cast and what’s it about?

Nicholas Gleaves is taking on the role of the sinister headmaster in a new, modern story

Nicholas Gleaves as the Demon Headmaster
Published: Monday, 7th October 2019 at 4:07 pm

It’s time for a whole new generation to be terrified, with classic CBBC drama The Demon Headmaster – based on the books by Gillian Cross – getting a reboot for the 21st Century.


Now with a new cast and an updated concept, a lot has changed since Terrence Hardiman last donned the iconic blue spectacles, but never fear – we’ve collected all the pertinent information you’ll need to know below.

When is the Demon Headmaster reboot coming to TV?

The 10-part series will begin airing on the CBBC channel and BBC iPlayer from Monday 14th October, airing 30-minute episodes every week.

Is there a trailer?

Yes! Here's a teaser in which the new Headmaster orders the pupils of Hazelbrook Academy to look into his eyes.... brrrrrr.

Who plays the Demon Headmaster, and who are the rest of the cast?

Nicholas Gleaves as Roger Penhaligon, Bodyguard (BBC, EH)

Nicholas Gleaves, most recently seen in the BBC’s Bodyguard and as one of the villains in Spider-Man: Far From Home, will take on the titular role.

“It is an absolute stroke of genius to bring back this iconic series and I feel incredibly lucky to play the role,” Gleaves said in a release.

“The Demon Headmaster is a dark magician and I’ve loved bringing the character to life. It’s always an actor’s dream to play extremes and he is the ultimate villain.”

Facing off against him will be a new gang of youngsters called Lizzie, Tyler, Ethan, Angelika and Blake, played by Ellie Botterill, Jordan Crammond, Dijarn Campbell, Lori Stott and Jordan Rankin respectively.

Shonagh Price will play his Deputy Head and sidekick Mrs Maron.

Is Terrence Hardiman in the new Demon Headmaster series?

Terrence Hardiman makes a cameo in the new Demon Headmaster
Terrence Hardiman makes a cameo in the new Demon Headmaster BBC

He is indeed! exclusively revealed in September 2019 that the original Demon Headmaster himself will have a cameo in one episode of the new CBBC drama.

“I was thrilled when I heard that The Demon Headmaster was to be re-imagined for a new generation of children to enjoy,” Hardiman told

“I thought it was a joke when I was first contacted to see if I would come back to play a part in the new series and thrilled and excited when it turned out not to be the case.”

Emma Reeves, writer on the new series, added: “Terrence Hardiman’s Demon Headmaster is a children’s TV legend, and it was always my dream to involve him in the new series. I was thrilled when he agreed to appear.”

“Meeting the original Demon Headmaster made me both star-struck and terrified but he couldn’t have been nicer, and watching him and Nicholas Gleaves together was incredibly exciting.”

Hardiman had also kept his trademark tinted spectacles over the last 20 years, and he’ll be wearing them again during his appearance.

What’s the plot of the new Demon Headmaster series?

The Demon Headmaster
The Demon Headmaster BBC

Based on a new novel by original author Gillian Cross, the new series will see Gleaves’ hypnotic baddie as the “Super Head” of an academy school called Hazelbrook Academy.

However, the basic nuts and bolts of the story will be more familiar to fans of the 1996-1998 series, with the new drama described as following “a group of mismatched kids who discover their headmaster is using hypnotism to gain ultimate control of their school. But how can they fight an antagonist who manipulates their every move?”


The more things change…


Sponsored content