David Walliams on narrating a TV version of a classic children's story
There’s a ‘roarsome’ family treat this Christmas as the late Judith Kerr’s timeless children’s story The Tiger Who Came to Tea is turned into an enchanting animation for C4.
Produced by Lupus Films, who gave us C4’s hits The Snowman and the Snowdog and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, the half-hour tale follows the titular big cat (voiced by David Oyelowo) as he slowly eats Sophie (seven-year-old newcomer Clara Ross) and Mummy (Tamsin Greig) out of house and home.
Benedict Cumberbatch plays Daddy, while Paul Whitehouse is the Milkman. Judith sadly died this May before she could see her 1968 book brought to life on screen.
But here, her friend, fellow author and the animation’s narrator, David Walliams, 48, (who also stars in Sky One comedy Cinderella: After Ever After this Christmas) tells us more about the new version of The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Judith was keen for you to narrate this, wasn’t she?
David Walliams: “Yes, she thought that because I tell stories too, I would understand how to say the lines. I don’t know about that. I’m just proud to be associated with it.”
Why is the book still so popular?
DW: “It’s like a piece of instant nostalgia because it makes you think of your own childhood. It’s also a beautifully told story.”
Does the film do justice to Judith’s illustrations?
DW: “When you hear this book is becoming an animated film, part of you worries that it won’t stay true to Judith’s beautiful illustrations. But Lupus Films’ hand-drawn style suits them perfectly. This is exactly how The Tiger Who Came to Tea should look.”
What would you do if a hungry tiger knocked on your door?
DW: “I’m not going to invite any old tiger into my house! I’d probably take my family out for fish and chips…”
The Tiger Who Came to Tea is Channel 4 on Christmas Eve at 7.30pm.