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I TALK Bad Education (Series 3)

Few sitcoms reach a third series these days, and even fewer sitcoms get funnier the longer they go on, but somehow Bad Education, the BBC Three sitcom written by and starring Jack Whitehall does just that.

I'm fortunate enough to go to many television screenings and meet lots of actors doing what I do, but never have I seen a team get on as well as the Bad Education team.

From the producer Ben Cavey, through to Jack Whitehall and the students it's clear at this year's screening, and last year's, that this is a team that love to work together and genuinely get on.

Often the term 'family' is over-used when talking about a team on a TV show, but the cast of Bad Education really do feel like a family. Before the screening the pupils were all drinking and clearly having a great time, glad to see one another again and winning the award for the loudest in the room! This came as no surprise to me because after I interviewed them last year on set it was clear how well they all get on.

It was a real family affair for Jack who brought his mother and father, Hillary and Michael along to the screening, his father a celebrity in his own right following their BBC Three, now BBC Two chat show Backchat.

So what can we expect from the third series? Well, the first episode sees the start of the summer and Alfie Wicker (Jack Whitehall) is back in high spirits... that is until he meets the new deputy head... his dad, Martin Wickers, which sees Harry Enfield return as a regular this series. Headteacher Fraser (Mathew Horne) is back and having invested the school's money in his own clothing range, Dolce and GaBanter (no, really), he has to let a staff member go.

Understandably no one wants to be that member of staff. So what do the teachers of Abbey Grove do? They go on strike of course! The strike is led by Miss Gulliver (which leaves Alfie with a very difficult decision to make - does he stand by his girlfriend and strike, or does he sacrifice himself so that his class won't fail their exams? He chooses to... What? You didn't think I would actually tell you did you? What I can tell you though, is that it's a brilliant start to what might end up being the best series of Bad Education yet!

In the second episode of the series, Mitchell announces that he's leaving Abbey Grove, cue a farewell party which happens the same night as Miss Gulliver's book group and Fraser's LARPing club.

Alfie has been invited to all three and tries his best not to let either of them down, but will he be able to do so without someone letting someone down. Well... let's be honest, probably not!

Then comes episode three which was described by producer Ben Cavey at the screening as his favourite episode as he couldn't quite believe that the BBC had let him get away with some of the jokes within the episode... especially the one about Oscar Pistorius which proves my point that the series is funnier and more outrageous than ever before!

If ever there was a show that could get away with an Oscar Pistorius joke, it's Bad Education, yes you have to wait until episode three, but believe me... it's worth the wait.

When asked at the screening what his favourite scene has been, Jack Whitehall confirmed that this is going to be the final ever series of Bad Education - "It's basically the last scene of the series when Alfie says goodbye to the kids. It's a slightly different tone to the bombardment of cock gags! It's slightly emotional, slightly subtler! It only took us until the last episode of the third series to achieve some subtlety!"

Being the final series of Bad Education, it will definitely be going out on a high, and when BBC Three moves online next autumn Bad Education will go down as one of BBC Three's greatest sitcoms of all time. And that's a real testament to Jack Whitehall who created Bad Education with his friend Freddy Syborn at a time when he was best known for his stand-up and now look at him, he's become unstoppable of late and rightly so!

Bad Education returns Tuesday 16th September at 10pm on BBC Three

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