Decline and Fall comedy for Jack Whitehall, David Suchet and Eva Longoria

Jack Whitehall - ITV

Jack Whitehall, David Suchet and Eva Longoria have been confirmed as the lead stars in BBC Two’s the three-part comedy satire Decline and Fall adapted from the Evelyn Waugh comedy novel.

“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.” – Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning

James Wood is to adapt Evelyn Waugh’s Decline And Fall, one of the greatest comic novels of all time, for the BBC. The series will also star Douglas Hodge.

Decline And Fall sees Paul Pennyfeather (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 (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. The production will mark 50 years since Waugh’s death.

“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

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