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Gangsta Granny

Gangsta Granny

Boxing Day, 6.05-7.15pm, BBC1

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David Walliams stars in this likeable adaption of his best-selling kids' book about Ben (Reece Buttery), a neglected, plumbing-mad boy, and his seemingly boring gran (the brilliant Julia McKenzie) who’s not what she seems.

Ben’s selfish, ballroom-dancing-crazed parents, played as hideous comic creations by Walliams and a glammed-up Miranda Hart, drop Ben off at his gran’s every weekend, where he’s subjected to cabbage soup, painful silences and endless rounds of scrabble. At breaking point, he discovers valuables in her biscuit tin and forces her to confess her sideline as an international jewel thief. Their shared secret leads to an ambitious heist, but hot on the tail of gran’s mobility scooter is nosy neighbour Mr Parker.

Although it takes a while to warm up, there are moments of real humour, especially in the hospital breakout and ballroom scenes. Expect to see more Robbie Williams on our screens too – he holds his own rather well as the faux-Italian Flavio. It's a slight story with a big heart, and it’s surprisingly poignant when the Queen (Joanna Lumley – who else?) makes a plea for the young to respect the old.
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