Our last report from the 2013 BBC Showcase saw a simple one-time-only special with a big name cast grab the hearts of most of the cynical television program executives remaining in Liverpool. Although it had already aired on BBC One this past Christmas Day, the hope amongst all attendees was that this would become the perennial holiday classic along the lines of It’s A Wonderful Life in the U.S.
David Walliams’ best-selling children’s novel Mr Stink tells the touching, twisted and hilarious tales of Mr Stink, who is befriended by a local girl Chloe. Chloe sees Mr Stink every day, but she’s never spoken to him, which isn’t surprising, because he’s a tramp, and he stinks.
When it looks like Mr Stink might be driven out of town, Chloe hides her unusual friend in her garden shed. As she struggles to make sure no one sniffs out Mr Stink, her dad tries to hide a secret of his own, and the stage is set for an epic family confrontation. There is also one other person with an extraordinary secret: it turns out that there is more to Mr Stink than meets the eye… or nose.
David Walliams, who will play the role of the Prime Minister in the show, says: “I am beyond thrilled that BBC One is adapting my children’s book ‘Mr Stink’ into a family film. I have written the script, and can’t wait to see actors bring it to life.” Equally as effusive, BBC One Controller Danny Cohen added: “Mr Stink is a heart-warming, nose-clenching and funny tale which will appeal to viewers of all ages. It’s brilliant to be working with David to bring his magical tale to BBC One.”
Adapted by Walliams himself with Simon Nye of Men Behaving Badly fame, this 60-minute family comedy tells the story of lonely 12-year-old Chloe (Nell Tiger Free), who invites local tramp Mr Stink (Hugh Bonneville) and his dog Duchess (Pudsey) to hide out in her family’s garden shed.
Chloe also has to cope with an overbearing mum (Sheridan Smith) who is more interested in her own political ambitions and her infatuation with the Prime Minister (Walliams), than her daughter. ‘Perfect’ younger sister Annabelle (Isabella Blake-Thomas) and nasty girls at school also make Chloe’s life miserable. Chloe’s only allies are her put-upon dad (Johnny Vegas) who is harbouring a secret of his own, and newsagent Raj (Harish Patel).
What transpires over the course of the 60-minutes is as magical as the Jimmy Stewart film, It’s A Wonderful Life. All you have to do is believe…