Adaptations of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s children's books have become staples of the Christmas season, and this year will be no different, as the cast has now been announced for the tenth adaptation of their work for BBC One.


The latest film will be an adaptation of The Smeds and The Smoos, about two families on a far-off planet, and will star Bridgerton's Adjoa Andoh as Grandmother Smoo and Gavin and Stacey's Rob Brydon as Uncle Smoo.

They will be joined by Bill Bailey as Grandfather Smed, Meera Syal as Aunt Smed, Ashna Rabberu as Janet and Daniel Ezra as Bill, while the film will be narrated by double Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins.

The official synopsis for The Smeds and The Smoos states: "On a far-off planet, two families always avoid each other. The red Smeds never mix with the Smoos, who are blue, so when a chance encounter allows young Smed Janet to become friends with Bill, a young Smoo, their families immediately try to stop it."

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

It continues: "But Janet and Bill sneak out to meet up secretly and as they grow up, they fall in love. When their families find out they could not be more horrified. So the desperate Janet and Bill sneak away to escape in the Smed’s red rocket to explore the universe together.

"Realising they’ve lost their children, Grandmother Smoo and Grandpa Smed are compelled to work together to try to find the young couple. Can the two clans discover how to get along?"

This Donaldson/Scheffler adaptation follows last year's Superworm becoming the 3rd most watched programme from Christmas Day, with 8 million viewers across 30 days.

The Smeds and The Smoos was first published in 2019 and was the UK’s bestselling picture book in hardback for 2019 and in paperback for 2020. The adaptation is being directed by Daniel Snaddon and Samantha Cutler, from a script by Julia Smuts Louw.

The Smeds and The Smoos will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer this Christmas. For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.


The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.