Whitehall's senior service will round off new double act
It's often noted that in person Jack Whitehall, who is so confident on stage, is incredibly awkward.
And it really is true. Avoiding eye contact and with his arms and legs crossed, he looks like a young boy being told off for a naughty deed.
"I'm not very good in social situations," admits the 25-year-old who will appear alongside his father Michael at this year's The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.
In that way, he says, he's similar to Alfie Wickers, the hapless teacher he plays in the high school-based comedy Bad Education, which Whitehall also writes. And the similarities don't end there.
"I'm quite immature and I think Alfie is too. He also seems to attract embarrassment, which I can relate to."
In the new series, Whitehall certainly doesn't shy away from cringe-worthy moments. For starters, he is naked, a lot. "If we can't think of a clever punchline, I just get naked," he says.
Like when his clothes are nicked post-swimming gala by some bullying pupils, leaving him stranded outside the changing rooms in his birthday suit in front of Miss Gulliver, the teacher he's in love with.
To top it off, Alfie's chlorine allergy has made his face puff up to grotesque proportions.
"On the day I had a mask on, so I couldn't see anything. Now I've realised that it really was quite repellent. No woman is ever going to touch me again."
Believe it or not, Whitehall found singing (at one point Alfie launches into a Jean Valjean-style song in front of the whole school) more embarrassing than shedding his clothes.
"It's weird that I find being naked easier than singing. It's because I'm so bad at singing and as you can see I have an absolutely tremendous body," says the slim actor and funny man.
Whitehall's own school was very different to the one depicted in Bad Education.
Privately-educated, he attended the well-to-do Marlborough College – where Kate and Pippa Middleton were also pupils.
Freddy Syborn, his former classmate and Bad Education co-writer, recalls Whitehall as "smelly and a bit of a slob".
He also used to get into trouble quite a lot, but for unusual reasons – like the time he was caught naked in the room of a friend, who was drawing him.
"He wanted to draw a girl and she would only let him do that if he drew me as well," reveals Whitehall. "It was just like a DH Lawrence scene, there was a fire and a rug and we fought afterwards," he jokes.
Syborn and Whitehall didn't like each other when they first met, but soon bonded over a love of The League Of Gentlemen, and started writing sketches which they would record in Syborn's room. Whitehall later headed off to Manchester University to study history of art, but quickly realised it wasn't for him.
"At school you learn all the cool stuff like the Nazis – in history I mean. In history of art you don't do the Nazis, their art is pretty limited," he says, laughing. "Then you go to university and you're doing crushingly boring stuff."
The star of E4 comedy Fresh Meat will appear alongside father Michael for a look at life chez Whitehall, sharing their outrageous and embarrassing tales of family life.
It's recently been announced that he and his father will present a new show together on BBC Three called Backchat, based on the Edinburgh Festival show of the same name.
"He's very much in control because he can shout at me whenever he wants – he's my dad," says Whitehall.
It's not just his dad doing the shouting. "I did a joke about turning on an Aga oven and a man, who I think was my dad's friend, shouted out, 'You can't switch on an Aga, that's the point'. I think it was the poshest heckle I've ever had. As hosts go we are a bit like Ant and Dec if Ant was 40 years older and kept telling Dec he was a disappointment to him."