The Tiger Who Came to Tea

The Tiger Who Came to Tea at Channel 4

Category: News Release

Channel 4 to air a special animated adaptation of the much loved

classic children’s book The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr from the makers of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and The Snowman and The Snowdog for Christmas 2019


Once there was a little girl called Sophie, and she was having tea with her mummy in the kitchen.  Suddenly there was a ring at the door.  Sophie’s mummy said, “I wonder who that can be…?”

The opening of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, written by Judith Kerr and published by  HarperCollins Children’s Books, will be known well by parents and children across the nation. The tea-guzzling tiger, who turns up unannounced and eats and drinks Sophie and mummy out of house, home and bathwater before disappearing into the night, has been delighting generations of children and parents in the much-loved picture book by Judith Kerr. 

Channel 4 has commissioned a new hand-drawn animated special, produced by Lupus Films and HarperCollins, of The Tiger Who Came to Tea, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. The special animation will air as a festive treat in 2019.  Channel 4’s last festive children’s classic, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, also produced by Lupus Films, was the Channel’s most watched programme of 2016 with over 8million viewers over the festive period.

Written by the revered Judith Kerr OBE, who celebrated her 95th Birthday last June, The Tiger Who Came to Tea has sold over 5 million copies since it was first published in 1968. Inspired by Judith’s daughter Tacy, the story of Sophie and her extraordinary, stripy tea-time guest has enchanted generations of children and has become a timeless classic.  The 30-minute special animation will air on Channel 4 next year.

Caroline Hollick, Channel 4 Head of Drama said: “The Tiger who came to Tea was one of my favourite books as a child, and I loved reading it to my own children when they were small. I’m thrilled that Channel 4 is bringing this beloved book to life this coming Christmas, so we can enjoy it all over again, as well as introduce the story to a whole new audience.”

Chloe Tucker, Commissioning Executive, Channel 4 Drama said “We are delighted to bring Judith Kerr's iconic and much-loved children's book to our screens. The Tiger Who Came to Tea is a timeless classic, and we hope this film will capture the same special place in every family's imagination watching it.  This will be real a Christmas treat, created by the wonderful Lupus Films, who created We’re Going on a Bear Hunt for us and whose hand-drawn animation is perfect for bringing classic children’s books to life.”

Ruth Fielding, producer and co-founder of Lupus Films said: “We are delighted to be creating a new animated film for Channel 4 using our unique hand-drawn style.  This timeless tale, with huge cross generational appeal, is the perfect literary classic to adapt for a seasonal special when the whole family can come together to watch it. We cannot wait to bring Judith’s delightful illustrations to life in animation and have assembled an exceptional team to do so”.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea was commissioned by Caroline Hollick, Channel 4 Head of Drama and Chloe Tucker, Channel 4 Commissioning Executive, Drama.  Produced by Lupus Films' founders Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding together with Ann-Janine Murtagh, Katie Fulford and Mia Jupp at HarperCollins Children’s Books, and directed by Robin Shaw (Co-Director We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Assistant Director The Snowman and The Snowdog).  The book has been adapted for the screen by Joanna Harrison (Co-Director We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Co-Writer and Art Director The Snowman and The Snowdog).  This new animated special will see a team of artists bring to life Judith Kerr's vivid illustrations in Lupus Films' distinctive, hand-drawn animated style.  UPHE Content Group is managing the international TV distribution, home entertainment and theatrical rights to the special.




Notes to editors


About Channel 4

Channel 4 is a publicly-owned yet commercially-funded public service broadcaster and has a remit to be innovative, experimental and distinctive. Its public ownership and not-for-profit status ensure all profit generated by its commercial activity is directly reinvested back into the delivery of its public service remit. As a publisher-broadcaster, Channel 4 is also required to commission UK content from the independent production sector and currently works with around 300 creative companies across the UK every year. In addition to the main Channel 4 service, its portfolio includes: E4, More4, Film4, 4Music, 4seven, and digital service All 4.



About Lupus Films

Lupus Films is one of the UK’s foremost producers of high-quality films and television programmes for children and families, set up by Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding in 2002. Their productions have been sold to over 150 countries worldwide and they are known internationally for beautifully crafted animation and stylish film adaptations of classic children's literature.


About Harper Collins Children’s Books

HarperCollins Children’s Books, unprecedented three times winner of Children’s Publisher of the Year (2014, 2015, 2016) is one of the leading publishers of children’s books, recognised for nurturing new talent as well as boasting a reputable list of established best-selling authors. Respected worldwide for its tradition of publishing quality, award-winning books for young readers, HarperCollins is home to many children’s classics, including The Chronicles of Narnia, Hello Kitty, the Paddington stories, The Cat in the Hat and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and to some of the biggest names in children’s literature past and present, including David Walliams, Judith Kerr, David Baddiel, Lauren Child, Oliver Jeffers and Michael Morpurgo.



About UPHE Content Group

Headquartered in London, UPHE Content Group is a repertoire center of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, acquiring and producing multi-genre entertainment for distribution across theatrical, home entertainment, television and digital platforms on a worldwide basis.  UPHE Content Group is part of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, a unit of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television and other distribution platforms, as well as consumer products, interactive gaming and live entertainment.  The global division includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Brand Development, Fandango and DreamWorks Animation Film and Television.  UFEG is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.  NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment.