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Learners poster.jpg
Learners poster
Written by Jessica Hynes
Directed by Francesca Joseph
Starring David Tennant
Jessica Hynes
Shaun Dingwall
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Ruth Caleb
Luke Alkin
Running time 78 mins
Original network BBC One
Original release 11 November 2007

Learners is a British comedy drama television film starring David Tennant and Jessica Hynes. The film was announced by the BBC on 3 April 2007 and was broadcast on 11 November 2007.[1] The DVD was released on 12 November 2007.[2]


The film tells the story of a group of learner drivers. One of them, Beverly (Jessica Hynes), is a housewife who works as a cleaner at the police station and has failed her driving exams eight times, mainly because her husband Ian (Shaun Dingwall) is too impatient giving her driving lessons. She decides to take driving lessons from Chris (David Tennant), a devout Christian driving instructor at Gear Change, with whom she falls in love. However Chris loves his boss Fiona (Sarah Hadland) who is having an affair with Beverly's colleague, policeman Gerry.

Beverly tries to raise cash for her driving lessons, because Ian spent all their money on a pair of owls, hoping to sell their offspring for a profit. She ends up looting her daughter's savings for university. During her ninth secret driving test, she runs into Ian on the street, thus failing again. To make matters worse, Chris leaves Gear Change, because Fiona has an affair with Gerry, leaving all learner drivers without their favourite teacher. However, Chris returns when Fiona breaks up with Gerry, despite finding herself pregnant by him.

When one of the owls gets sick, threatening the life of the eggs, Beverly must drive to the vet herself. She runs into Gerry on the motorway, who escorts her to the vet. The owl and eggs are saved, reuniting the family, giving Beverly enough confidence to try her test again, and pass this time.


Cast notes[edit]

Writer Jessica Hynes, who also stars as Beverly, had previously appeared together with David Tennant in the Doctor Who episodes "Human Nature" and "The Family of Blood". Shaun Dingwall was a recurring guest star in series 1 and 2 of Doctor Who.


Learners started filming in April 2007 on location in Hertfordshire.[3] Beverly's house was filmed at Breach Barnes in Waltham Abbey behind First Avenue. Some of the mobile home's fences had to be removed in order for actors to walk through.


  1. ^ "BBC Program Information Week 46". BBC. Retrieved 2007-10-27. 
  2. ^ "Amazon.co.uk: Learners". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2007-07-31. 
  3. ^ "David Tennant and Jessica Hynes in driving seat for new BBC One comedy drama Learners". BBC News. 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 

External links[edit]