Jack Whitehall, David Suchet and Eva Longoria to star in BBC Two comedy Decline And Fall

I am extremely pleased to be a part of this amazing adaptation by James Wood. I’ve been a fan of this book since I read it as a teenager, and I just hope that I can do it justice.Jack Whitehall
Date: 12.06.2016     Last updated: 13.06.2016 at 11.02
Category: BBC Two; Comedy; Casting

James Wood to adapt the novel for the first time for television, and will debut later this year.

Earlier this year, it was announced that BBC Comedy would bring the first ever televisual adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Decline And Fall, one of the greatest comic novels of all time, to BBC Two.

Today, an all-star cast can be confirmed for the three-part comedy satire with Jack Whitehall (Bad Education, Fresh Meat), David Suchet (Agatha Christie’s Poirot) Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) and Douglas Hodge (Penny Dreadful) announced as starring in the project.

Adapted for television for the first time, the series for BBC Two will be written by James Wood (Rev).

Decline And Fall sees Paul Pennyfeather (Jack Whitehall) as an inoffensive divinity student at Oxford University in the 1920s, who is wrongly dismissed for indecent exposure having been made the victim of a prank by The Bollinger Club.

David Suchet will play Dr Fagan, the headmaster of Llanabba, an obscure public school in Wales where Paul first finds employment and works with fellow teacher Grimes (Douglas Hodge). It is at the school that he meets a beautiful South American woman, the Honourable Mrs Margot Beste-Chetwynde, to be played by Eva Longoria, who is the mother of one of the pupils.

For Paul it is love at first sight, but little does he know the surprises that lie ahead of him when he agrees to tutor her son over the summer holidays.

Of his casting as Paul Pennyfeather, Jack Whitehall says: “I am extremely pleased to be a part of this amazing adaptation by James Wood. I’ve been a fan of this book since I read it as a teenager, and I just hope that I can do it justice.”

Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: “One of the greatest comic novels of all time, this satirical masterpiece is long overdue a television debut. Waugh deploys comedy and tragedy to point up prevailing institutional corruption and the dehumanising consequences of elitism, very timely and apposite for today. James has done a terrific job of getting to the core of it, and the writing has attracted a fantastic cast.”

Decline And Fall was commissioned by Charlotte Moore and Shane Allen, along with former BBC Comedy commissioning editor Chris Sussman. It will be executive produced by Ben Cavey (for Cavebear Productions), Will Gould (for Tiger Aspect Drama), and James Wood. The Director is Guillem Morales (Julia’s Eyes, Inside No 9).

The production will mark 50 years since Waugh’s death.

SE