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Big School

Big School

Fri Aug 16, 9-9.30pm, BBC1

By Gabriel Tate

Series one, episode one
The public disembowelling of ‘The Wright Way’ will have put a few comic heavyweights on alert about upcoming projects, but David Walliams doesn’t have too much to fear where his new sitcom ‘Big School’ is concerned. It may be a little light on jokes, but it’s transparently good-natured, agreeably old-fashioned and with an adult cast so attention-grabbing that the pupils occasionally feel a little incidental to proceedings.

Walliams is Mr Church, the sad-sack chemistry teacher who withdraws his proposed resignation when highly desirable maverick French teacher Miss Postern (Catherine Tate) arrives to shake up Greybridge secondary school. Frances de la Tour’s withering headmistress, Daniel Rigby’s clueless music tutor and Philip Glenister’s non-PC PE teacher all grapple over scenes to steal and prise some good laughs out of the sometimes slight material.

It’s no Grade-A student, but ‘Big School’ isn’t expulsion fodder either – a decent achievement with so few new sitcoms worthy of a pass these days.

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