NOTE: This radio adaptation carries the title “Baggy Trousers”, but is often referred to as “Down With Skool” or “Molesworth”. We are henceforth using the official title “Baggy Trousers”.
“Cheers, cheers, cheers!” (Rupert Grint in Baggy Trousers)
Directed by Elizabeth Freestone, Baggy Trousers stars Rupert Grint as voice of Nigel Molesworth. A BBC4 production broadcasted on 25 December 2003 and 1 January 2004, Baggy Trousers is an audio based on Geoffrey Willans’ Molesworth book Down With Skool.
Written by Geoffrey Willans and illustrated by Ronald Searle, Down With School is the first of four books “written by” Nigel Molesworth. Molesworth is a fictional student at St. Custard’s school, a 1950s prep school somewhere in England. Molesworth talks about the going-ons at his school and the best way to deal with them.
Nigel Molesworth is a student at St. Custards and calls himself the “curse of st custards”. He has a younger brother, Molesworth 2, and a best friend called “Peason”. In his diaries, he picks apart the British school system with wit and sarcastic humour, written in bad, but consistent spelling.
- Aside from his narrator voice, Rupert adapts his voice to the different scenes his character appears in.
- The ”Masters at a glance” are: English masters, Latin masters, French masters, Maths masters and Singing masters.
- There are ten “cheers” and seven “ekcetera” in the entire audio.
- The audio is actually about “N. Molesworth Esquires Newly Published Manifesto: Down With Skool”.
Recording: 25 November 2003
Behind the Scenes
- “Down with skool” is Molesworth’s very own manifesto and the first of the four books:
- The title of the audio actually is “Baggy Trousers”. “Down with Skool” is the title of the book the audio is based on. “Molesworth” is the name of the book series, hence the four books mentioned above. There are audios of the other books as well, all of them titled “Baggy Trousers – …”.
- The song playing at the beginning and end of the clip is “Baggy Trousers” by Madness. Listen to it here on youtube.
- ”as any fule kno”, a quote often used by Nigel, can occasionally be seen in British mainstream press, usually in satirical context.
- Simon Brett eventually wrote two sequels about a grown-up Nigel: Molesworth Rites Again (1983) and How To Stay Topp (1987)
- J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, may have taken the name Hogwarts from the Molesworth books. The name features in one of Molesworth’s imitation Latin plays, while Hoggwart is also the name of the headmaster of Porridge Court, a rival school of St Custard’s.
- The Molesworth Institute was established in honour of Nigel and his contributions to the world of learning.
Down with Skool! A Guide to School Life for Tiny Pupils and their Parents (1953); How to be Topp: A Guide to Sukcess for Tiny Pupils, Including All There is to Kno about Space (1954); Whizz for Atomms: A Guide to Survival in the 20th Century for Fellow Pupils, their Doting Maters, Pompous Paters and Any Others who are Interested (1956) (Published in the US as Molesworth’s Guide to the Atommic Age); Back in the Jug Agane (1959); The Compleet Molesworth (1958, all four books in one, as Molesworth (2000 Penguin reprint), ISBN 0-14-118600-3
Rupert Grint (Nigel Molesworth)
Director/Producer: Elizabeth Freestone
Radio Adaptation: Simon Littlefield and George Poles
Runtime: appr. 28 min
Broadcast: 25 December 2003, 1 January 2004
Distributor: British Broadcasting Corporation
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Molesworth: Cheers, cheers, cheers!
Molesworth: Headmasters are always very keen on conferences, committees ekcetera, where they discuss how to educate boys. Cheers. Though, it doesn’t seem to make much difference: We’re all ignorant.
Molesworth: If you wake up long enough, you find out everything in Latin happened a long time ago.
Molesworth: There’s a centre to say you don’t quite see some, as this means you’re only temporarily baffled by the unruly equation, and not that you don’t know the faintest about any of it.
Molesworth: Naye, naye, sire. No witches brew for yourn crown shall here pass my lips.
Molesworth: Who are these cherubim and seraphim, who are continually crying?
Molesworth: There was only one thing to do…
Narrator: Jasper sat down and…
Molesworth: …ordered more prunes.