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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Just William – Introduction

Just William (Daniel Roche) with the outlaws Ginger (Jordan Grehs), Douglas (Edward Piercy) and Henry (Robert Foster)

Just William is a children's classic – its humour still striking a chord today and its characters bywords for a particular and precise portrait of British family life.

Simon Nye (Men Behaving Badly) has taken Richmal Crompton's timeless short stories and, relishing the author's original wit and lively sense of character, written scripts faithful to her vision.

The new series follows the mischievous William and his gang, The Outlaws, who together like nothing better than wreaking havoc in the local woods. Dedicated to dastardly doings, William embroils his pals in a spot of boggy bother with new neighbour Mr Bott; manifests a menagerie mix-up with a pair of parrots; sets up a spot of blackmail; and takes to the stage to perform his own rendition of Hamlet.

The stories have attracted a remarkable fan club of actors and technicians to this CBBC series of four half-hour episodes for BBC One.

Fresh from his success in Outnumbered a much-shorn Daniel Roche steps up to play the title role.

The stellar cast includes Warren Clarke and Caroline Quentin as new neighbours the Botts, with Daniel Ryan and Bafta-winner Rebecca Front playing William's parents.

William's exasperated teachers are played by the exceptional trio of Denis Lawson, John Sessions and Bruce Mackinnon. And narrating the series is the voice behind the classic recordings of the Just William stories, Martin Jarvis.

Other artistes featured in the four-part series range from the distinguished Judy Parfitt and much-loved comedian Roy Hudd to brand-new stars such as Harry Melling and Bertie Carvel, lauded in Roger Michell's revival of Rope.

The series is directed by Paul Seed (Bafta award-winning House Of Cards and A Rather English Marriage); shot by Erik Wilson, (Murderland, Submarine) and designed by Gary Williamson (Lipstick On Your Collar, Submarine).

Just William is produced by John Chapman (The Street, Lost Prince) and executive produced by Gina Cronk (New Tricks).


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