Par­lour games, feast­ing, punch on the stove, cud­dling ba­bies and panto

The Herald Magazine - - CHRISTMAS TELEVISION -

SET­TLING down with the fam­ily to watch one of Ju­lia Don­ald­son’s beau­ti­ful chil­dren’s books be­ing brought to life has be­come a Christ­mas sta­ple. In re­cent years The Gruf­falo, The Gruf­falo’s Child,

Room on the Broom, Stick Man and The High­way Rat have all graced our tele­vi­sion screens. The sixth book to be adapted is Zog, a tale about a keen but ac­ci­dent-prone dragon who gets him­self into mis­chief while learn­ing how to fly, roar, breathe fire and fight knights at Dragon School.

He is tasked with cap­tur­ing a princess. Writ­ten by Don­ald­son and il­lus­trated by Axel Sch­ef­fler, the half-hour an­i­mated spe­cial will be voiced by a stel­lar cast in­clud­ing Sir Lenny Henry as the nar­ra­tor, Tracey Ull­man as Madame Dragon, Hugh Skin­ner as Zog, Patsy Fer­ran as Princess Pearl and Kit Har­ing­ton as Sir Gad­about.

Here Don­ald­son, 70, who moved with her hus­band Mal­colm from Bears­den to Sus­sex in 2014, talks about what it is like to see her cre­ations on TV and her plans for the fes­tive sea­son.

AND ANN WID­DE­COMBE WILL SPEND CHRIST­MAS

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