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Doctor Who and Enola Holmes stars team up for BBC Christmas animation

susan wokoma
Doctor Who and Enola stars join BBC projectLia Toby - Getty Images

Upcoming animated adventure Tabby McTat is coming to the BBC this festive season with a star-studded cast attached.

An adaptation of the picture book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the film boasts a big ensemble led by narrator Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who).

Set in the streets of London, Tabby McTat tells the story of talented busker Fred and his feline pal Tabby. When Fred falls and breaks a leg when chasing a thief, he's whisked away in an ambulance, leaving Tabby to fend for himself. What will he get up to?

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The animated movie stars Rob Brydon (Gavin and Stacey) as Fred, Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísú (Gangs of London) as Tabby, Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show) as Prunella, Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It) as Pat and Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes) as Sock.

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The plot is partly inspired by Donaldson's real-life experiences.

"I used to love busking with my husband Malcolm when we were living in Bristol, and also in Paris," the author said.

"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!"

jodie whittaker
Gary Gershoff - Getty Images

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"Julia and Axel's book is a beautiful, heart-warming story that we're delighted to be adapting for BBC viewers this Christmas," producer Barney Goodland at Magic Light said in a statement.

"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."

The movie, directed by Sarah Scrimgeour and Jac Hamman and written by Max Lang and Suzanne Lang, marks the 11th adaptation of Donaldson and Scheffler's beloved work.

"Magic Light's hugely entertaining adaptations of Julia and Axel's works have been delighting families and viewers of all ages for over a decade now," Director of BBC Drama Lindsay Salt commented.

"I know that Tabby is a character loved by many, so I could not be happier that he'll be brought to life this Christmas on BBC One and iPlayer."

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