BBC orders Superworm

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Building on the Christmas 2020 success of Zog and the Flying Doctors, Magic Light Pictures, the multi-Oscar nominated production company, is bringing Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s celebrated story Superworm to BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

The voice cast for the adaptation will be headlined by Olivia Colman as narrator and alongside Matt Smith playing the hero, Superworm. They are joined by Patricia Allison as Butterfly and Rob Brydon as the Crow, with other cast to be announced later in the year.

Colman commented: “This is such a lovely project to be involved with. When reading the script, and imagining all those goings on at the end of the garden, I could really get a feel for the pure fun and joy that the film will bring. I’ve always loved these charming productions at Christmas and I’m delighted to be voicing the narrator.”

Allison added: “The Magic Light animations are such an important part of the Christmas TV schedule, I’m excited to become part of that tradition. Butterfly is a very determined character, and a loyal friend, so I’m looking forward to recording a lot.”

Brydon said: “This will be my ninth appearance in a Donaldson/ Scheffler adaptation. Working on these Magic Light productions is always a delight and deciding how to voice characters is such fun. I love watching them on TV at Christmas – a lovely way to round off my year.”

Donaldson and Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo, collaborated once again on this animated half hour, which has been acquired by Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer and Tommy Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama. Magic Light has been providing festive family treats to BBC One for over a decade, and their films, based on the books by the award-winning duo, are among the most popular family titles on BBC iPlayer.

Zog and the Flying Doctors, which aired on Christmas Day 2020 and starred Sir Lenny Henry and Rob Brydon, secured 7 million viewers in all-screen +30 day figures.

Superworm is being directed by Sarah Scrimgeour and Jac Hamman, from a script by Max Lang and Suzanne Lang.

Bulfin, Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama, commented: “The Donaldson and Scheffler adaptations are a lynchpin of the Christmas schedule and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with them and the award-winning Magic Light Pictures again this year. I can’t wait for audiences to fall in love with Superworm, who is super-long and super-strong.”


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