Adapted for television for the first time, Decline and Fall follows the adventures of Paul Pennyfeather (Jack), a luckless young man whose life is turned upside down when he falls victim to the drunken antics of the Bollinger Club and is unfairly sent down from Scone College, Oxford University.

Classic Novel


Forced to take a job as a schoolmaster, Paul finds work at an obscure public school in Wales called Llanabba, run by a Dr. Fagan and his two daughters. There Paul makes friends with two fellow school teachers, lapsed priest Mr. Prendergast and hard-drinking trouble-maker Captain Grimes. The wealthy mother of one of Paul’s pupils, Margot Beste-Chetwynde, takes a shine to him and offers him work as a private tutor to her son Peter in the holidays. Soon their relationship becomes a little more than professional, and Paul is engaged to be married to Margot before the summer is out. Paul, however, is unaware that the source of Margot’s income is rather less salubrious than she would have the world believe, and gets in trouble with the police while obliviously running errands for his fiance.

From here on in, Paul’s life takes increasingly surprising and unpredictable turns, as he is thrown into one strange world after another, and tries to keep hold of his sanity.


  • Paul PennyfeatherJack Whitehall
  • Margot Beste-ChetwyndeEva Longoria
  • Dr. FaganDavid Suchet
  • GrimesDouglas Hodge
  • PrendergastVincent Franklin
  • PhilbrickStephen Graham


  • AuthorEvelyn Waugh
  • WriterJames Wood (Rev)
  • DirectorGuillem Morales
  • BroadcasterBBC ONE
  • Production companiesCave Bear ProductionsTiger Aspect ProductionsMultitude Media
  • Release date31 March 2017 (UK)
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