This Christmas, the BBC will treat viewers to The Highway Rat, a 30-minute animation of the popular children’s story by Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler.


It’s good news for anyone who loved the Stick Man. Magic Light Pictures – the studio behind that 2015 adaptation of another Donaldson/Scheffler book – is also producing The Highway Rat.

What time is The Highway Rat on TV this Christmas?

The Highway Rat will air on Christmas Day at 4:45pm on BBC1.

The last Donaldson/Scheffler short, the aforementioned Stick Man, also aired on 25th December and drew in a massive 9.27 million viewers.

Who stars in The Highway Rat?

Former Doctor Who star David Tennant will lead the voice cast, bringing his native Scottish accent to the eponymous rat.

He’ll be joined by Rob Brydon (as the narrator), The Night Manager’s Tom Hollander (Squirrel), Love Actually’s Nina Sosanya (Duck), and Harry Potter’s Frances de le Tour (Rabbit).

The Highway Rat BBC, BD

What is The Highway Rat about?

The story follows a ravenous rat bandit who craves buns, biscuits and all sweet things. He demands them from passersby with the shout, “Give me your pastries and puddings! Give me your chocolate and cake! For I am the Rat of the Highway, and whatever I want I take!”


Will his sweet tooth lead him to a sticky end?