6 items from 2010
The Outlaws, woodland trespass and eventual triumph over the adults: this Just William has it all
Sometimes the planets just align. One day a man looks at a pile of sand and thinks: "Do you know, I think if I heated that with a little potash, I think I could make a window." Another day, a man looks at a dairy maid's peachy complexion during a smallpox epidemic and thinks: "I bet that's because she's been in contact with cowpox blisters. Bring me a syringeful of pus and a bepoxed eight-year-old boy. I wanna try something." And sometimes the leap is smaller, but no less rewarding. A man watches an episode of Outnumbered, sees Daniel Roche as the ruthlessly logical, constitutionally yet unmaliciously troublesome middle child Ben and thinks: "You know, there hasn't been a decent adaptation of the Just William stories for over 30 years. Bring me that eight-year-old boy and his agent. »
- Lucy Mangan
Time moves on, and Violet Elizabeth's lack of a lisp will infuriate the purists, but this William is just so
Although he has become the epitome of an 11-year-old boy, William Brown is now almost 89: Richmal Crompton's first book about the scruffy scourge of girls was published in 1922. But, following a fortnight of school holidays and heavy snow, this story of the alpha naughty brat may have felt urgently topical in many households, making Christmas week a perfect time for the release of the latest BBC adaptation.
Unusually with a juvenile role, the show has been revived as a vehicle for a star actor. The 11-year-old Daniel Roche won award nominations and hero status among the pre-teen audience for his performance as the factually unreliable and relentlessly inquisitorial Ben in the BBC1 domestic comedy Outnumbered.
In many ways, Ben is a latterday William, although with readier access to violent images on the internet, »
- Mark Lawson
Screening over Christmas this year will be the new feature-length adaptation by Simon Nye of Richmal Crompton's much-loved mischievous hero Just William. Weaving together a selection of Richmal Crompton's timeless short stories and setting them in the Fifties, Simon has written scripts faithful to her precise portrait of British family life.
The adventures follow William's first encounter with the frilly-yet-formidable Violet Elizabeth Bott; a spot of parrot kidnapping for William's animal lecture; an elaborate plan to dispose of a bad school report; a spot of blackmail; and William's attempt to impress tomboy Dorinda (played by Lottie Bell) with a bit of Shakespeare.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (ScreenTerrier)
From the man who pretends to be a caterpillar eating a leaf for nature documentaries to the woman who sets the questions for Mastermind, we salute the stars behind the camera
Ben Jones, foley artist on Life
Before I had a go at being a foley artist, I didn't know the job existed. I always thought the sound on natural history programmes was recorded in the field. Then, 15 years ago, when I was training to be a sound editor, a foley artist had to disappear one lunchtime and I was pushed into the sound booth and told to be a snake.
The foley booth is a soundproof room with trapdoors covering various surfaces such as earth, rubble, concrete, grass and floorboards. There is usually a cupboard full of rubbish that make different sounds – teapots, kids' toys, bamboo, broken glass, balloons, anything. That first time, I think I used some gardening gloves, »
- Becky Barnicoat
The BBC has announced the cast for its new adaptation of Just William. The channel confirmed reports that Outnumbered star Daniel Roche has landed the lead role in the series, which is based on Richmal Crompton's novels. The Thick Of It's Rebecca Front and Linda Green star Daniel Ryan will appear as William's parents, while Warren Clarke and Caroline Quentin will feature as new neighbours the Botts. Denis Lawson, John Sessions and Bruce Mackinnon have signed up to play William's teachers, while Martin Jarvis, who worked on the classic Just William recordings, will narrate the series. Isabella Blake-Thomas will play William's nemesis Violet. Other cast members include Judy Parfitt, Roy Hudd, Harry Melling and Bertie Carvel. Cbbc (more) »
- By Catriona Wightman
Daniel Roche will play the title role in a new BBC production of Just William, it has been revealed. The 10-year-old, who stars as Ben Brockman in the sitcom Outnumbered, has been cast as William Brown in the television adaptation of the Richmal Crompton story, reports the Daily Mail. Just William producer John Chapman said: "It's not an accident that Daniel Roche's Ben is regarded as the Just William of today." Brown's (more) »
- By Christian Tobin
6 items from 2010
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