Jodie Whittaker to narrate animated film based on Julia Donaldson book
Actress Jodie Whittaker will lend her voice to upcoming animated film Tabby McTat, which will be broadcast over Christmas on the BBC.
The former Doctor Who star, 40, will be narrating the adaption which is based on the picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
Whittaker is joined by Gavin And Stacey star and comedian Rob Brydon – who starred in Donaldson’s The Smeds And The Smoos – as Fred and Gangs Of London star Sope Dirisu as Tabby McTat.
The film will see busker Fred and musical cat Tabby enjoy their life singing to audiences in London streets before tragedy strikes.
In the story Fred breaks his leg while chasing a thief and his cat is left alone.
Donaldson, who in 2023 is celebrating her 30th year in partnership with Scheffler, said: “I used to love busking with my husband Malcolm when we were living in Bristol, and also in Paris.
“We also both love cats – in fact, we’ve just acquired two new kittens named Tabitha and McTat.
“So this story is really close to my heart and combines two of my passions: singing and cats.”
Also among the cast is Peep Show’s Cariad Lloyd, The Thick Of It’s Joanna Scanlan and Enola Holmes’s Susan Wokoma.
The film is directed by Sarah Scrimgeour and Jac Hamman, who both previously worked on Donaldson and Scheffler adaption Superworm, and is written by Max Lang and Suzanne Lang.
It is produced by Barney Goodland and Michael Rose of Magic Light Pictures – the company has adapted other works from the children’s picture book duo including Oscar-nominated short film The Gruffalo – and animation services are provided by Red Star Studio.
Goodland said: “Julia and Axel’s book is a beautiful, heart-warming story that we’re delighted to be adapting for BBC viewers this Christmas.
“The friendship between Fred and Tabby is a truly special one and the film explores how their relationship changes unexpectedly as their lives move forward, and ultimately, how they learn to embrace that change.”
Tabby McTat will air on the BBC over the Christmas period.