Joanna Lumley to play the Queen in David Walliams' Gangsta Granny

Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley will play the Queen in a TV version of David Walliams' bestselling children's book Gangsta Granny.

She is joined in the cast for the hour-long BBC One special by Miranda Hart, Rob Brydon, Julia McKenzie and David himself.

Miss Marple star Julia plays the dull pensioner with a secret past as a jewel thief who gets her grandson, played by Reece Buttery, tangled up in one last heist, with David and Miranda playing his ballroom dancing-obsessed parents.

David said: "I am thrilled that we have such a stellar cast of comedy legends for Gangsta Granny. I can only apologise that I am in it too."

Filming starts on Sunday with the show set for broadcast at Christmas.

Gangsta Granny was David's fourth children's book. First published in 2011 it has sold almost half a million copies.

Patrick McLennan

Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix. 

An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.