Just William (2010 TV series)

Just William is a television series first broadcast on BBC One in December 2010. The series is based on the Just William series of books by Richmal Crompton. This latest adaptation is written by Simon Nye.[2] It is the first adaption of the books since a children's television series in the 1990s.

Just William
Written byRichmal Crompton (story)
Simon Nye
Directed byPaul Seed
StarringDaniel Roche
Rebecca Front
Daniel Ryan
Lily James
Caroline Quentin
Warren Clarke
Lottie Bell
Narrated byMartin Jarvis
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes4
Producer(s)John Chapman
Running time30 mins
Original networkBBC One, CBBC
Preceded byJust William

The series stars Daniel Roche as the title character, eponymous character William Brown, with Rebecca Front and Daniel Ryan as William's parents. Caroline Quentin and Warren Clarke appear as the parents of Violet Elizabeth Bott (played by Isabella Blake-Thomas), neighbours of the Brown family.[3][4] It is directed by Paul Seed and produced by John Chapman.[2]

Martin Jarvis, who voices the radio and audio CD adaptions of Just William, acts as the narrator.[2] Various sources suggest that the series will not be returning.[5][6]


British author Richmal Crompton had a series of books published between 1919 and 1969 about the adventures of schoolboy William Brown and his group of friends, also known as the "Outlaws". Crompton, a schoolteacher, wrote her first novel in 1922 and went on to sell over 12 million copies of her books in the United Kingdom.[3]

The first film adaption of the novels, titled Just William, was released in 1940, and this was followed by two further films in 1948. A radio series was also broadcast on the BBC around the same period. The books were also adapted for television, firstly as William in the 1960s, then as Just William in the 1970s and again under the same title in the 1990s.[7]


The producers chose to set the film in the 1950s, just following the conclusion of World War II, despite many of the books being written in the preceding three decades.[4][7] The series was filmed in the Home Counties. The screenplay was written by Simon Nye, who was a writer on the series Men Behaving Badly.[7] Daniel Roche was cast in the title role as William Brown, the main character and leader of "The Outlaws" along with his friends Ginger, Douglas and Henry.

Ten year old Roche had received critical acclaim for his performances as Ben in the BBC comedy series Outnumbered.[3] Isabella Blake-Thomas, who appeared in the BBC Four television film Enid, got the part of Violet Elizabeth Bott, William's neighbour.[4] Due to the setting of the series, Roche had to have his trademark curly hair cut short.[4]

Cast and characters

Daniel Roche who plays William; Robert A. Foster who plays Henry


The series, which consists of four half hour episodes, aired as part of the BBC's Christmas programming from 28 to 31 December 2010 on CBBC on BBC One.[7] The series was broadcast on CBBC from 8 to 16 January 2011.

DVD release

The first four episodes were released to DVD on 7 March 2011, under the title, Just William, Series One, which hints that there might be a second series, although this seems unlikely.[5][6]


  1. "Just William – BBC1 Sitcom". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  2. "Just William – Production Details & Cast and Crew". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  3. "Outnumbered actor Daniel Roche to star in Just William". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 18 July 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  4. "The Return of Just William: Meet the new Master Brown and Miss Bott". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
  5. Brown, Maggie (14 February 2011). "The BBC is producing great drama – but not enough of it". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  6. Fletcher, Alex (17 February 2011). "BBC has no plans for more 'Just William'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  7. Bambigoye, Baz (2 July 2010). "Outnumbered's Daniel Roche is just the boy to play William Brown". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved 22 November 2010.
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