When is The Tiger Who Came to Tea on Channel 4?

Benedict Cumberbatch and David Oyelowo are among the stars lending their voices to the festive TV adaptation of Judith Kerr's beloved children's book

The Tiger Who Came to Tea

Channel 4 have a festive treat in store this Christmas, with an animated adaptation of the late Judith Kerr’s classic 1968 picture book The Tiger Who Came to Tea, featuring an all-star voice cast including Benedict Cumberbatch, David Oyelowo and David Walliams.

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Here’s everything you need to know about The Tiger Who Came to Tea…


What time is The Tiger Who Came to Tea on TV?

The festive treat will air on Christmas Eve at 7.30pm on Channel 4.

What is The Tiger Who Came to Tea about?

THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA

Made by Lupus Films, and following on from their previous C4 animations The Snowman and The Snowdog and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, the animated special is an adaptation of Judith Kerr’s book of the same name.

The book follows a young girl, Sophie, and her Mummy, who are waiting for daddy to return home when they receive a rather unexpected guest, Tiger — who then proceeds to ransack the kitchen cupboards…

“I absolutely adored her Judith Kerr & I am pleased & proud she wanted me to narrate her classic ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ in a new animated film for @Channel4,” Walliams tweeted.

Cumberbatch 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.”

Oyelowo added: “Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to play the iconic tiger from The Tiger Who Came to Tea? He’s a big cat of few words because – he’s too busy eating! – but I relished all of the growling, chomping and slurping, which called on me to find my inner cat.”

Clara Ross and Robbie Williams
Clara Ross (Sophie) and Robbie Williams

The animated TV special will also feature a brand new track, Hey Tiger!, which was penned by composer David Arnold and Oscar-winning lyricist Don Black, and sung by Robbie Williams. 

On being asked to sing Hey Tiger!, Williams said: “This book has played a big part in me bonding with my kids. I’ve read it possibly 150 times to my first daughter, Teddy, and she is the reason I’m singing the song – I’m honouring those moments with her.”

Who stars in The Tiger Who Came to Tea?

Benedict Cumberbatch at the Patrick Melrose premiere in LA
Benedict Cumberbatch at the Patrick Melrose premiere in LA (Getty)

Oscar-nominee Cumberbatch (Avengers: Infinity War), Oyelowo (Les Miserables), Walliams (Walliams & Friend), Paul Whitehouse (Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing) and Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner) are all lending their voices to the festive special, playing Daddy, Tiger, Narrator, Milkman and Mummy respectively.

Seven-year-old newcomer Clara Ross will make her TV debut as Sophie.

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Is there a trailer for The Tiger Who Came to Tea?

Yes, you can watch it below.