The Tiger Who Came to Tea, the classic children’s book by Judith Kerr which has enchanted generations of readers, will come to TV this Christmas as a half-hour animated film on Channel 4, featuring the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, David Oyelowo and Tamsin Greig.
They will be joined by David Walliams and Paul Whitehouse, and the role of Sophie will be taken by seven-year-old Clara Ross, who will make her TV debut. The special will be made by the team behind previous festive shows We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and The Snowman and the Snowdog.
The book tells the tale of the eponymous big cat who shows up at Sophie’s front door and proceeds to eat the family out of house and home, even going so far as to drink all of the water out of the taps, before declaring: “Thank you for my nice tea. I think I’d better go now,” and departing.
Oyelowo, who starred as Martin Luther King in Selma, said: “Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to play the iconic Tiger from The Tiger Who Came to Tea? He’s a big cat of few words because he’s too busy eating! But I relished all of the growling, chomping and slurping, which called on me to find my inner cat.”
Walliams, who will narrate the film, said: “I knew Judith well and I really adored her. She was an incredible inspiration – her work is so brilliant. The book is a thing of beauty – there isn’t a word out of place, the illustrations are just gorgeous.
“I really wanted to be a part of it and I was chuffed that she wanted me to narrate. I’m so proud to be associated with it because it’s a stone cold classic. Just like the book has been around for over 50 years, hopefully the animation will have this incredible longevity too.”
The book, which came out in 1968 and has sold more than 5m copies, was written and illustrated by Kerr, who died this year at the age of 95. It has often been suggested that it was influenced by her family’s persecution by the Nazis in 1930s Germany, although Kerr denied this.
Original article from the Guardian