Julia McKenzie, Joanna Lumley, Rob Brydon and Miranda Hart are set to bring David Walliams’ best-selling children’s novel Gangsta Granny to life in a special 60-minute adaptation for BBC One.
From the BAFTA-nominated team behind 2012’s Mr Stink and co-written by Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley with David, the comedy drama tells the story of schoolboy Ben (Reece Buttery), who is bored beyond belief after he is made to stay at the house of his grandma, played by Julia McKenzie (Agatha Christie’s Marple, Cranford); all she ever wants to do is stay in, play Scrabble, and eat cabbage soup.
Until one day, when Ben’s grandma tells him a story that she was once an international jewel thief, and together they go on a wild adventure to complete the one heist she never quite managed in her criminal heyday – which brings them face-to-face with Her Majesty The Queen, played by Joanna Lumley (Absolutely Fabulous, Jam & Jerusalem, Sensitive Skin).
David Walliams (Little Britain, Big School) and Miranda Hart (Call The Midwife, Miranda) appear as Ben’s Strictly Come Dancing obsessed parents, Mike & Linda.
Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey, The Trip) plays Mr Parker – a nosy neighbour who could scupper Ben and his grandma’s plot; and Jocelyn Jee Esien (3 Non Blondes, Little Miss Jocelyn) appears as Kelly, the pushy mother of Florence (India Ria Amarteifio) with whom Ben has to dance in a local ballroom competition.
Harish Patel (Mr Stink, Run Fatboy Run), Max Olesker (from comedy duo Max & Ivan), and Steven Spiers (Extras, Cemetery Junction) also appear in the cast.
David Walliams says: “I am thrilled that we have such a stellar cast of comedy legends for Gangsta Granny. I can only apologise that I am in it too!”
Mark Freeland, BBC UK Controller of Comedy Production, adds: “David asked us not to muck up his massively popular book on TV. So we cast him and then added some of the most-loved and wonderful comedy actors in the country. I hope it will be a very special Special.”
Gangsta Granny begins filming on Sunday, for broadcast this Christmas on BBC One.