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Julie Walters on how she voiced 98-year-old Granny in The Abominable Snow Baby

Walters lends her voice to the elderly character in the new Channel 4 festive animation.

Abominable Snow Baby
Published: Wednesday, 8th December 2021 at 12:50 pm

Channel 4's latest festive animation is a brand new adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby – and as usual, the channel has drafted in some big names to lend their voices to the programme.

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One of those stars is Julie Walters, who takes on the role of 98-year-old Granny – and in this week's episode of the Radio Times podcast, she told Jane Garvey how she went about voicing such an elderly character.

"Well, I've played ancient people since I was in my twenties," she said. "I don't know why, I just feel attracted to them. I always think it's because I was brought up with my grandmother who was a bit doolally tap, and so had a massive influence on us as children. And so I think some of it is trying to solve the conundrum of my grandmother when I was a child.

"So I'm fascinated by old people," she added. "Of course, I am one now, so it's different... but it isn't that different. I love the way that people... their shape changes, and of course their voice and everything about them changes.

"In terms of voice, I'm a bit of an impersonator, and I notice how, you know, old people's voices... their vocal cords become thin and they age just like everything else. But what was lovely about Granny is that, yes, she was 98, but she's absolutely full of energy and goodness and love. She's just fantastic – I hope I'm like that at 98, if I ever get there!"

Speaking more generally about the programme, Walters explained that it was "definitely a heart warmer" and added. "It's about community and friendship and love and all the things that we've kind of missed in many ways over the last nearly two years. It's very uplifting."

The animation is based on a short story from Pratchett’s bestselling book of Christmas tales, Father Christmas’ Fake Beard, and tells of a quintessentially English town that is thrown into disarray by a huge snowfall and the dramatic appearance of a 14-foot-tall Abominable Snow Baby.

In addition to Walters, the voice cast also included David Harewood as the narrator and Hugh Dancy as Albert, the grandson of Walters' character.

Earlier this month, RadioTimes.com revealed an exclusive first look trailer, which teased some of the havoc that the Snow Baby's arrival causes in town.

Terry Pratchett’s The Abominable Snow Baby airs at 7:30pm on Christmas Day on Channel 4 and will also available be on All 4.

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