Channel 4 has commissioned Quentin Blake’s Clown to air in December 2020. Quentin Blake is one of Britain’s best-loved illustrator who is perhaps most known for illustrating most of Roald Dahl’s books. However, he is also known for authoring and illustrating his own collection of books.
Quentin Blake’s Clown is an animation which is inspired by a book of the same name by Blake which happens to be one of Sir Quentin Blake’s favourites amongst his own titles. Created using traditional hand-drawn animation techniques, the film will capture the unique style of Quentin Blake’s artwork.
The half-hour animation is a great story for children and adult watchers alike this Christmas and it brings to life the adventures of a little toy clown. Clown, who is thrown away with a load of other, old discarded toys goes on an adventure to find a new, loving home for himself and the friends he makes on the way.
Quentin Blake said: “Clown has always been one of my favourite characters, and it’s wonderful now to see him off the page and running about on his own.”
The animated Christmas special will be narrated by Hollywood star and Bafta award-winning actor, Helena Bonham Carter and it will join a long line of established traditional channel 4 children’s specials following; The Tiger Who Came to Tea, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and The Snowman.
Quentin Blake’s Clown is produced by Eagle Eye Drama (the production company recently launched by the team behind global drama brand Walter Presents). Their Chief Creative Officer Jo McGrath stated that: “Eagle Eye Drama’s core mission is championing and creating unique and inspiring scripted projects – across all genres and forms. We are delighted to be adding Quentin Blake’s Clown to our growing production slate and hope this will be the first of many animation projects we can bring to life.”
While Executive Producer, Massimo Fenati, added: “Quentin Blake’s Clown is a charming and heart-warming story, and bringing to life Sir Quentin’s exquisite, inimitable style for the screen is an inspiring creative task. An exciting jigsaw-puzzle of incredibly gifted animators from all over Europe have embraced this creative challenge enthusiastically and everyone on the team feel privileged to be working from such wonderful source material.”
The animated special was commissioned for Chanel 4 by their Head of Drama, Caroline Hollick, and supported by a grant from the BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund. It will be directed by Luigi Berio and Executive Produced by Massimo Fenati, with Eagle Eye Drama’s Jo McGrath and Walter Iuzzolino overseeing the project as joint creative directors.
Caroline Hollick said: ”We’re delighted that this Christmas, Channel 4 will show this enduring tale of a box of once much-loved, now discarded toys and Clown’s impassioned journey to find them all a new home. Quentin Blake’s unique style of drawing has been delightfully realised in animation form by the extremely talented team at Eagle Eye Drama. I’m excited to be part of such a dynamic European collaboration, and we’re very pleased that Helena Bonham-Carter has agreed to bring her distinctive, rich voice to the story.”
Accompanying this special will also be a short ‘making of’ programme with contributions by Quentin Blake, Helena Bonham-Carter and the key animators and executives, which will give viewers an insight into the creative process.
Jackie Edwards, Head of Fund from the BFI’s Young Audiences Content Fund stated, “We’re so proud of the range of projects we’ve funded this year, nurturing stories and concepts we feel will enrich television for young audiences. The Young Audiences Content Fund exists to support the creation of stories that represent, reflect and inspire the UK and we’re so excited to be able to help bring the uniquely special talents of Sir Quentin Blake to screen this Christmas.”
There is currently no news on exactly when in December Quentin Blake’s Clown will air or who else will be on the cast. However, we will keep an eye out for more information and until then, why not enjoy Quentin Blake’s original book?