Channel 4’s heartwarming animated adaptation of the late Judith Kerr’s bestselling picture book, The Tiger Who Came To Tea, included a fleeting reference to the author’s other beloved children’s creation, the cat Mog.
Eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted an old-fashioned billboard with a picture of the iconic, grey-and-white stripey feline — while another, ginger striped cat (who looked suspiciously like the eponymous hungry Tiger) walked along the lamplit street as Sophie (voiced by Clara Ross) and her parents hurried past as they headed towards a cafe and a “lovely supper with sausages and chips and ice cream”.
Created by Lupus Films, the same animation house behind previous festive hits like The Snowman and The Snowdog, the half-hour film aired on Christmas Eve and boasted an impressive all-star voice cast, including Oscar-nominee Benedict Cumberbatch (Avengers: Infinity War), David Oyelowo (Les Miserables), David Walliams (Walliams & Friend), Paul Whitehouse (Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing) and Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner), playing Daddy, Tiger, Narrator, Milkman and Mummy respectively.
The story follows a little girl called Sophie, who sits down to enjoy tea with her Mummy before there’s an unexpected knock on the door from Tiger, whose insatiable appetite nearly eats them out of house and home before Daddy suggests that the family head out for an impromptu meal.
Kerr, who died earlier this year at the age of 95, was involved “right from the beginning” of the film, even making suggestions and changing the lyrics of the film’s original song ‘Hey Tiger!’, sung by Robbie Williams.