Cast announced as production begins on BBC One adaptation of David Walliams Billionaire Boy

I am thrilled we have put together another all-star cast of comedy greats for this adaptation. The script is bigger and better than the book and I am excited for everyone to see it on BBC One at Christmas.

BBC One is to dramatize David Walliams book, Billionaire Boy, as part of the 2015 festive season with a stellar cast including Walliams himself.

The hour-long special is the fourth BBC adaptation of a Walliams novel, and follows the successes of Gangsta Granny, Mr Stink and The Boy In The Dress.

Billionaire Boy is the story of Len, who makes a billion from inventing a new toilet roll, and his 12-year-old son Joe who appears to have everything he could want but what he really needs is a friend.

The cast includes John Thomson (The Fast Show, Cold Feet) as Joes dad, Len, who invents a new toilet roll Bumfresh – making him millions. Catherine Tate (Doctor Who, The Catherine Tate Show) is Sapphire Diamond, a 40-something hand model who still likes to pretend shes 21 and is dating Len for his money.

Playing Joes shy and very nervous head teacher is James Fleet (Vicar Of Dibley, Partners In Crime) while Rebecca Front (The Thick Of It) plays Joes firm but fair, opera-loving teacher. Theres also an appearance from Warwick Davis (Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi, Harry Potter, Lifes Too Short) playing himself in the role of Len and Joes celebrity butler. Joe is played by Elliot Sprakes in his first major TV role.

David Walliams (Little Britain, Big School, Britains Got Talent) plays Mrs Trafe, a dinner lady at Joes school who is described as dirty and old and who is dreadful at cooking. Theres also a cameo performance from a very special mystery celebrity guest.

Walliams says: I am thrilled we have put together another all-star cast of comedy greats for this adaptation. The script is bigger and better than the book and I am excited for everyone to see it on BBC One at Christmas.

The programme was commissioned by Shane Allen, BBC Controller of Comedy Commissioning, and Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One, and is being made by King Bert Productions. The executive producer for King Bert Productions is Jo Sargent, and Gregor Sharp is the executive producer for the BBC. It is produced by Joanna Hanley for King Bert and directed by Matt Lipsey. The book has been adapted for TV by David Walliams and Kevin Cecil.

Gregor Sharp says: David Walliams books are a magical combination of memorable characters and brilliantly colourful story so we couldnt happier to be bringing Billionaire Boy to BBC One this Christmas. The terrific script David has written with Kevin Cecil, together with this amazing cast, promises to make this one of the highlights of the festive schedule.

Filming begins next week in Sheffield and Rotherham for broadcast this Christmas on BBC One. Local school children from Oakwood High School, Rotherham, have also been cast to appear in the production as Joes class mates.