BBC One have announced that Harry Hill is to make his acting debut in Professor Branestawn; a one-off film adapted from Norman Hunter’s classic children’s books by Charlie Higson.
Hill is set to play Professor Branestawm, the original mad professor, an absent-minded inventor who is oblivious to the chaos his ridiculous creations cause when they go wrong, (which they always do). If it weren’t for the efforts of his long-suffering and highly strung housekeeper, Mrs Flittersnoop, and his dim but loyal best friend, Colonel Dedshott of the Catapult Cavaliers, the professor would long ago have blown himself to smithereens.
Set in the quintessential English village of Great Pagwell, the hour-long special sees Mrs Flittersnoop’s science-mad niece, Connie, come to the Professor’s rescue when health and safety obsessed local councillor Harold Haggerstone tries to get him shut down and kicked out of the village as a dangerous nuisance.
Professor Branestawn is also set to star Vicky Pepperdine, Simon Day and Madeline Holliday. Meanwhile a host of famous faces will feature in supporting role including Ben Miller, Miranda Richardson, David Mitchell, Sophie Thompson and Adrian Scarborough. Higson himself is also set to star in the film as The Mayor.
Speaking of his role in the film, Hill says, “as a budding schoolboy scientist and inventor myself I loved the Professor Branestawm books as a kid, I was fascinated by Heath Robinson’s wonderful illustrations too. It’s a thrill for me to be playing the prof in Charlie Higson’s brilliant TV adaptation. Best Christmas present ever!”
Higson adds, “I loved Norman Hunter’s Professor Branestawm books when I was a kid, and I loved reading them to my own kids, who found them as funny as I did. These were the books that inspired me to write comedy of my own, and I’ve always wanted to adapt them for the screen. To bring Heath Robinson’s brilliant illustrations to life and share Norman Hunter’s amazing inventiveness with a wider audience is a dream come true for me.”
BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore says, “in recent years BBC One has produced some truly wonderful adaptations which have been huge hits with our audience and I have no doubt that Charlie Higson’s take on Professor Branestawm, starring the brilliant Harry Hill, will prove to be just as magical and popular.”