Cartoon comp from hell

25th February 2005 at 00:00
It is the bog-standard comp from hell: a graffiti-scarred south London school populated by foul-mouthed pupils and desperate, often sexually-frustrated, teachers.

Bromwell High, the new late-night cartoon from Channel 4, is already being dubbed Britain's answer to South Park. And the new series will focus almost as much on teachers' exploits as those of errant pupils.

The cartoon revolves around three teenage girls: the violent Keisha Marie, who suffers from attention deficit disorder, the slutty Latrina and the clever Natella. Their head, Iqbal, is new to education - as he is a gangster who only took charge of the school when he won it in a poker game.

Many episodes focus on the head's attempts to find funding, including one in which he arranges for Albanian Fried Chicken to sponsor Bromwell High, resulting in drastic changes to the curriculum.

Although the head's methods are unconventional, he is presented as almost sympathetic, unlike the arch-villain of the cartoon, Mr Bibby the biology teacher, who is described by the programme-makers as "a slimy, arrogant, self-serving toerag who spends his time avoiding staff duties".

Other staff members include Martin, a "spineless and ineffectual teacher who hates children", and Carol, his wife, who is "an organic-clothes-wearing aspirant Guardian reader".

Then there is supply teacher Melanie Dickson, "an Antipodean with professional aspirations that are unlikely to be realised as she has the tact and sensitivity of an outback farmer".

The series, written by the team behind Goodness Gracious Me, is due to be broadcast in the spring.

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