Sky One announce cast for upcoming Christmas film, based on a real story.
Filming begins today Monday 24 August on new Sky original Roald & Beatrix, the tail of the curious mouse, a heart-warming Christmas film inspired by the true story of when a six-year-old Roald Dahl meets his idol Beatrix Potter.
Joining Dawn French (Vicar of Dibley) who plays Beatrix, the cast will include Jessica Hynes (W1A), Rob Brydon (The Trip), Alison Steadman (Gavin and Stacey), Nina Sosanya (Brave New World), Bill Bailey (In The Long Run) and Nick Mohammed (Intelligence). The uplifting 90-minute comedy drama airing on Sky One and streaming service NOW TV will form the highlight of Sky’s festive schedule.
In the Sky original, author Beatrix Potter is coming to the end of her career. With her publisher hounding her for her next draft, she’s unable to concentrate and has had enough of writing children’s books. It’s not just her motivation that she has lost, her optometrist has recognised she has failing eyesight.
Two hundred or so miles away in Wales, life is changing for an anxious young boy called Roald. Having recently lost his older sister and now his father, the once happy six-year-old has found solace and comfort in books. The beloved tales of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck fill his mind, distracting him from the funeral, sadness and the revelation that he might be sent to boarding school. Wanting to run away, he is encouraged by his mother Sophie (Haynes) to follow his dreams and visit his hero Beatrix Potter.
Jon Mountague, Director of Comedy, Sky Studios, said: “Roald Dahl taught us ‘a little magic can take you a long way’. This Christmas, Sky presents the magical tale of how a boyhood Dahl met his idol Beatrix Potter. With Dawn French leading an all-star cast this surprising story, inspired by a real life encounter, is a tale as much for our times as yesteryear. Produced by Hartswood, it’s a giant peach of a Christmas gift.”
Elaine Cameron, Producer, Hartswood Films, said: “This film follows a joyous and magical journey involving two of Britain’s most loved children’s authors. As filmmakers in the middle of a world-wide pandemic, we are similarly embarking on a journey – quite unlike anything any of us have ever experienced. The optimism and resilience of the cast and crew and the bravery of Sky to back us to the hilt, is as inspiring to me as a producer as the story itself. We are delighted that Abi’s wonderful writing has attracted such a stunningly funny cast.”