'The Smeds and The Smoos': When is Julia Donaldson's story on the BBC this Christmas?

The Smeds and The Smoos will be on TV this Christmas. (BBC)
The Smeds and The Smoos will be on TV this Christmas. (BBC)

BBC adaptations of Julia Donaldson's children's books have joined many a family's Christmas Day traditions and 2022 offers yet another beloved tale brought to life.

The Gruffalo author's book The Smeds and The Smoos will be brought to life this festive season - here's all you need to know.

When is The Smeds and The Smoos on TV this Christmas?

The animated film of Donaldson's story has been announced for BBC One for Christmas 2022, although exact schedules have not yet been released.

Donaldson's stories usually air on Christmas Day, in a teatime slot that is popular with families.

Who stars in The Smeds and The Smoos?

Programme Name: Bill Bailey: Larks in Transit - TX: 17/09/2021 - Episode: Bill Bailey: Larks in Transit (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Bill Bailey - (C) Marilyn Kingwill - Photographer: Marilyn Kingwill
Bill Bailey voices Grandfather Smed. (Marilyn Kingwill)

Adaptations of the author's work attract some big names for the voice cast each year.

This time, comedian, musician and Strictly Come Dancing 2020 winner Bill Bailey will star, voicing Grandfather Smed.

Read more: The Gruffalo is the UK's favourite bedtime story

Starring alongside him is Bridgerton's Adjoa Andoh who will voice Grandma Smoo.

Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury in the first season of 'Bridgerton'. (Liam Daniel/Netflix)
Adjoa Andoh as Bridgerton's Lady Danbury. (Netflix)

Gavin & Stacey's Rob Brydon, a regular fixture in the voice cast of Donaldson's stories, returns for his 10th production as Uncle Smoo and double Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins is also back as narrator.

Comedian Meera Syal will play Aunt Smed, Sex Education star Ashna Rabheru is Janet, and All American actor Daniel Ezra plays Bill.

What is The Smeds and The Smoos about?

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Children's author Julia Donaldson CBE attends an event to celebrate 20 years of the Waterstones Children's Laureate at Waterstones Piccadilly on February 11, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Julia Donaldson's books are a regular fixture of Christmas TV. (Getty Images)

Donaldson's story is fairly recent, having first been published in 2019, and the illustrations that will be brought to life come from her long-time collaborator, Axel Scheffler.

It is set on a planet where the Smeds, who are red, never mix with the Smoos, who are blue - until one day, a young Smed and Smoo fall in love.

Read more: All the Strictly Come Dancing champions so far

Their families are very disapproving to begin with, but of course, love conquers all and makes for the perfect feel-good Christmas message.

Bailey said: “I think the main themes of the film are that we should just be accepting difference in others.

“I think the thing I get from it is that the older generation tend to be more resistant to change. And actually, sometimes it takes the younger generation to sort of breach that divide.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 26:  Rob Brydon attends the launch of the new Range Rover at The Royal Opera House on October 26, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Jaguar Land Rover)
Rob Brydon is back for his 10th Julia Donaldson story. (Getty Images for Jaguar Land Rover)

Meanwhile, Andoh described her character Grandma Smoo as “utterly capable”.

“She can drive a rocket, she can clump about the place, she can blow her trumpet, delight in her kids and her grandkids and she can hate with a passion as well,” she said.

“Grandma Smoo’s not a woman of mild tastes, everything’s fairly strong with her. So when she’s your implacable enemy, she’s implacably your enemy.

“But you could change her mind at any moment and then she will love you to death.”

Which other Julia Donaldson books have been adapted for TV?

Superworm
Superworm was on TV for Christmas 2021. (Magic Light Pictures)

Famously, Donaldson's best-known work The Gruffalo was adapted for TV featuring the voices of James Corden and Robbie Coltrane.

Other titles to have been adapted for the BBC's Christmas programming include The Gruffalo's Child, Room On The Broom, Stick Man, The Highway Rat, Zog, Zog and the Flying Doctors, and The Snail and the Whale.

Christmas 2021's adaptation was Superworm, featuring the voices of Olivia Colman, Matt Smith and Rob Brydon.