Pick of the week
The Boy in the Dress Thursday, 6.30pm, ABC Three No disrespect intended to ABC Three, but this endearing story deserves a wider audience on the main channel. A celebration of being different, it’s not just for kids. Written by David Walliams ( Little Britain, Partners in Crime), it’s one of his 12 bestselling children’s books, which are funny and charming. Dennis Sims (Billy Kennedy), 12, discovers that, despite being a crack soccer player, he has a feminine side. Kate Moss, morphing out of the pages of Vogue in a gorgeous red dress, dazzles his imagination. The coolest girl in the school, Lisa James, encourages Dennis to wear a frock — an orange daisy number. His depressed dad and lumpy older brother are not impressed (his mother left them five years earlier), and the headmaster expels Dennis. That’s as much of the story as you need know here. Suffice it to say, it’s a subtle, heartwarming treatment of loss, gender identity, friendship and loyalty. Jennifer Saunders ( Absolutely Fabulous) pops up as the rather nutty French teacher with wild blond hair and Walliams minces into the picture as a stand-in referee. This was the first children’s book he wrote in 2008. It was the third one adapted for TV, after Mr Stink and Gangster Granny. (Ratburger, Demon Dentist and Billionaire Boy are in the pipeline.) In a recent survey, Walliams beat JK Rowling as the most read author in the five to 16 age group in Britain.