David Walliams will bring his best-selling children’s book, Grandpa’s Great Escape, to BBC1 this Christmas

David Walliams will bring his best-selling children’s book, Grandpa’s Great Escape, to BBC1 this Christmas.

Doctor Zhivago actor Tom Courtenay and comedy legend Jennifer Saunders will star in the adaptation, which tells the tale of Grandpa (Tom), a World War Two flying ace, who now sadly suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

Grandpa is moved to to an old people’s home called Twilight Towers, run by Miss Dandy (Jennifer). However, it soon becomes clear that she is running Twilight Towers for her own suspicious motives and it’s up to Grandpa and his grandson Jack to make a daring escape, which would give him one last chance to take to the skies in his beloved Spitfire.

David Walliams said: “I’m thrilled to be working with acting and comedy royalty on this adaptation of my book. I have loved Tom Courtenay forever and I still can’t believe that I’m working with him. He is the perfect Grandpa. And what a treat to be working with comedy genius Jennifer Saunders again.”

The cast also features Babs actress Samantha Spiro as Jack’s mum Patricia.

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning said: “This heart-warming story about the close relationship between a boy and his grandfather continues the rich tradition of BBC1 family pieces at Christmas by connecting young and older viewers together.”

This will be the fifth adaptation of one David’s books at Christmas, following Mr Stink (2012), Gangsta Granny (2013), The Boy in The Dress (2014) and Billionaire Boy (2015).