Benedict Cumberbatch joins star-studded Tiger Who Came to Tea adaptation

The Doctor Strange and Sherlock star will voice "Daddy," while David Oyelowo will play the Tiger in Channel 4's festive animation

Benedict Cumberbatch (Getty, EH)

Benedict Cumberbatch, David Oyelowo and David Walliams are part of an all-star cast lending their voices to Channel 4’s new animation of the late Judith Kerr’s classic 1968 picture book The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

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The festive treat, which will air this Christmas, is made by Lupus Films, and follows on from their previous C4 animations The Snowman and The Snowdog and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Cumberbatch (Avengers: Infinity War), Oyelowo (Les Miserables), Walliams (Walliams & Friend), Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner) and Paul Whitehouse (Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing) will all be lending their voices to the special, playing Daddy, Tiger, Narrator, Mummy and Milkman respectively. Seven-year-old newcomer Clara Ross will make her TV debut as Sophie.

Kerr’s original book tells the story of Sophie and Mummy, who receive an unexpected guest at the door, Tiger — who then proceeds to eat everything in the kitchen cupboards, as well as all the water in the tap, before Daddy returns home.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Getty
The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Getty

Walliams, who also write’s books for children, said he is “proud” Kerr wanted him to narrate her classic tale.

“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,” he 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.”

Robbie Williams has recorded a track, Hey Tiger! for the TV adaptation which was penned by composer David Arnold and Oscar-winning lyricist Don Black.

Kerr, the much-loved children’s author and illustrator, also known for the Mog series and When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, died aged 95 in May of this year.

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The Tiger Who Came to Tea will air on Channel 4 this Christmas