With Christmas not too far away, the BBC has shared a sneak-peek of its upcoming festival special The Smeds and the Smoos, starring Bridgerton's Adjoa Andoh and Strictly Come Dancing winner Bill Bailey.


Adapted from Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo) and Axel Scheffler's book of the same name, the 30-minute special will follow the red Smeds and the blue Smoos as they learn to overcome their differences and work together to find young Janet (Ashna Rabheru) and Bill (Daniel Ezra), who have escaped together.

The first-look image introduces Janet and Bill, as well as their respective grandparents Grandfather Smed and Grandmother Smoo, who are sworn enemies.

Adjoa Andoh, who is best known for starring as Lady Danbury in Netflix's Bridgerton, will provide the voice of Grandmother Smoo, while comedian Bill Bailey plays the role of Grandfather Smed.

The Smeds and The Smoos book cover artwork
The Smeds and The Smoos book cover artwork. Faber & Bishopp

Rounding out the vocal cast are Gavin and Stacey's Rob Brydon (Uncle Smoo), Paddington's Sally Hawkins and The Sandman's Meera Syal (Aunt Smed).

"When Janet and Bill come across one another in the Wurpular Wood and make friends, their families are mortified," the BBC teases.

Troubled by the long-standing rivalry between their families, Janet and Bill fly away in the Smeds' red rocket, forcing their relatives to work together to track them down.

Speaking about the upcoming project, Andoh said: "There's just the sort of ignorant prejudice that people can harbour about each other until they come together and actually love, and that survival and kinship are the things that bind all of us."

She added that her character is "utterly capable" and can "delight in her kids and her grandkids" but can "hate with a passion as well".

Bill Bailey added that the main themes of the film are that "we should just accept differences in others" and that Grandpa Smed is "quite sort of traditional and a bit stuck in his ways".

"I think the thing I get from [the film] is that the older generation tend to be more resistant to change. And actually, sometimes it takes the younger generation to sort of breach that divide."

The Smeds and the Smoos will be the latest book from Donaldson to be adapted into a Christmas special by the BBC after Zog and the Flying Doctors and The Gruffalo.

You can buy Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler's The Smeds and The Smoos on Amazon. The Smeds and The Smoos will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this Christmas. To see what's on tonight, check out our full TV Guide.


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