Christmas is coming and David Tennant has got another Christmas role. No, he isn’t going to be in the TARDIS but he is going to star as The Highway Rat.

The Highway Rat is another story from the UK’s number one picture book duo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and will be animated by Magic Light Pictures, the Oscar-nominated entertainment company.

First published in 2011 the story surrounds a ravenous rat who craves buns, biscuits and all sweet things. Tearing along the highway, he searches for sugary treats to steal, until his sweet tooth leads him to a sticky end. “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.”

The Highway The Highway Rat - (c) BBC OneRat - (c) BBC One
The Highway Rat – (c) BBC One

The half-hour special will air on BBC One this Christmas.  In addition to David Tennant who voices Highway Rat, the special features  Rob Brydon as the narrator, Nina Sosanya as the Duck, Tom Hollander as the Squirrel and Frances de le Tour as the Rabbit.

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This is Magic Light Pictures’ fifth adaptation of a Donaldson/Scheffler title.  Michael Rose and Martin Pope, co-founders, Magic Light Pictures, say: “It’s been a privilege adapting Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s wonderful book for the screen. They create worlds rich in story, character and charm, ideal for families to watch together, and huge fun for us to make.”

Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama, says: “I am delighted that we will be bringing another of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved stories to life on the BBC. Magic Light Pictures has, yet again, woven their wonderful magic to animate the story of The Highway Rat with warmth and wit – and some very recognisable voices!”

The Highway Rat (1×30’) is directed by Jeroen Jaspaert, director of Stick Man, and produced by Michael Rose and Martin Pope of Magic Light Pictures. Animation services have again been provided by Triggerfish Animation in Cape Town. The composer is René Aubry. Acquired for BBC One by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, and Elizabeth Kilgarriff, Snr Commissioning Editor, BBC Drama.

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