Roald & Beatrix Christmas drama starring Dawn French begins filming for Sky One

The family film is based on a real meeting between Beatrix Potter and six-year-old Roald Dahl.

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Dawn French

Filming starts today on Sky One’s Christmas family drama, Roald & Beatrix, the tail of the curious mouse, about the real-life meeting between famed author Beatrix Potter and a six-year-old Roald Dahl.

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The drama has attracted an A-list line-up of British comic talent, with Dawn French as the renowned children’s author, Rob Brydon as her husband, William, plus Jessica Hynes, Bill Bailey, Alison Steadman, Nina Sosanya and Nick Mohammed.

Written by Abi Wilson (Trollied, Stella), Roald & Beatrix, the tail of the curious mouse, dramatises the true story of when a six-year-old Roald meets his idol Beatrix.

Sky said in a statement the film would portray Beatrix coming to the end of her career, under pressure from her publishers, losing the will to write more children’s stories and with her eyesight failing her.

With Christmas approaching, Beatrix is feeling out of touch with her readers, not to mention over-zealous, trespassing fans and jovial door-knocking carol singers. Her Cumbrian farm, her long-suffering husband and disobedient animals, including much loved pig called Sally, are her only real comfort as she looks for inspiration. 

Meanwhile in Wales, life is changing for an anxious young boy, Roald (Harry Tayler). Having recently lost his older sister and now his father, the once happy six-year-old has found some comfort in books, particularly Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck.

As he endures funerals and the fact he might be sent to boarding school, he is encouraged by his mother Sophie (Haynes) to follow his dreams and visit his hero, Beatrix. Roald pushes his anxiety aside and they set off on his first big adventure, meeting unpredictable, memorable characters (Steadman and Bailey), igniting his imagination and giving some comfort to his grieving mother.

When Roald’s meeting with Beatrix eventually happens it’s a life-changing moment for both of them.

Hartswood Films producer Elaine Cameron commented on the difficulty of making Roald & Beatrix during the pandemic: “The optimism and resilience of the cast and crew and the bravery of Sky to back us to the hilt, is as inspiring to me as a producer as the story itself.”

Roald & Beatrix, the tail of the curious mouse will screen on Sky One and streaming service NOW TV this Christmas.

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