A perennial children’s classic and a cautionary tale of the perils of suburban big cat care.
Written by the late Judith Kerr in 1968, it has been a popular staple of infant and junior school libraries worldwide ever since. So I’m sure you’ve all read it, or at least seen the delightful cover art at some point.
As a child this book was a favourite. Not least because the main character’s name is the same as mine and the story involves an amicable tiger breaking into her house; essentially my dream when I was around six or so.
David Oyelowo is the titular hungry Tiger, Tamsin Greig is ‘Mummy’, and Benedict Cumberbatch is ‘Daddy’.
Speaking about the joy of being involved, Benedict said:”I couldn’t be more thrilled to be playing a small part in bringing Judith Kerr’s timeless children’s classic to the screen for another generation to enjoy.”
Making her television debut is seven-year-old Clara Ross as Sophie. Before her death in May, Kerr asked that her friend David Walliams be involved too.
While Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams, 47, will narrate the animation after the late Judith Kerr personally asked him to take part before her death in May.
Speaking of the casting news, David 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.
Adding: “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 Tiger Who Came to Tea has sold over five million copies since it was first published in 1968.
Inspired by Judith’s daughter Tacy, the story of Sophie and her extraordinary teatime guest has enchanted countless children and become a timeless classic.
It’s being adapted into an animated television special for Channel 4 and it’ll be broadcast sometime around Christmas.