Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Little Crackers

This Christmas, a season of autobiographical comic shorts, "Little Crackers", brings some of Britain's best-loved comedy stars to Sky 1 HD.

In a collection of comedic short films, a raft of A-list comedy names write, narrate and star in dramatisations of stories from their pasts. The all-star line-up includes Catherine Tate, Dawn French, Kathy Burke, David Baddiel, Meera Syal and Stephen Fry. Victoria Wood, Bill Bailey and Julia Davis will also pen and star in films that they will also direct.

Stephen Fry will play his former headmaster in a tale from his time at boarding school in "Bunce: A Christmas Tale", set in 1969. The young Stephen will be played by Outnumbered star Daniel Roche (also to be seen this Christmas starring in Just William), with his friend Bunce played by newcomer Milo Quinton. Stephen said of Daniel "He really is extraordinary, tremendously poised and able to deliver lines which are not typical for a child."

Catherine Tate's film, set in 1976,  will chart a memory from her primary school when she was denied a part in the Nativity play. But some creative bargaining by her mother (played by Catherine Tate herself) ensures a very unique nativity indeed! The six year old Catherine is played by Madeleine Power.

David Baddiel's Little Cracker is set in 1978 and  is about the time Norris McWhirter came to his school with Alistair MacGowan playing Norris. The young David played by 13 year old Sebastian Applewhite (represented by Jackie Palmer) who plays Max in Dani's House.

Dawn French's film "The Queen Mother's Visit" brings to life a recollection from when she was four and her family were selected to receive a visit from the Queen Mother on the RAF base where they lived. Set in 1961, Dawn will be playing the role of the Queen Mum. The young Dawn French is played by newcomer Brooke Holmes.

Julia Davis's short "First Kiss" is an autobiographical tale of big perms, head braces and first kisses set in the 1980s to an epic soundtrack. Young Julia is played by newcomer Clementine Starling with 20 year old Inbetweeners star Emily Atack (represented by International Artistes) as her best friend Charlie. 

"Better Than Christmas" details how on the last day of school the 15 year old Kathy Burke has a chance meeting with her heroes, The Clash, which changes the course of her life forever, with Sam Palladio playing Joe Strummer. Welsh actress Aimee Ffion-Edwards (Sketch from Skins) plays Mary. And Ami Metcalf (who played Sapphire in Doctors, and winner at this year's Soap Awards) stars as Young Kathy.

Bill Bailey's short "Car Park Babylon" will recreate the time he was trapped in a multi-storey car park on Christmas Eve.

Meera Syal’s Little Cracker is being filmed in 3D to add a dose of “magical realism” to the show.
Set in 1970, seven year old Meera wants to celebrate Christmas but her Hindu parents don't do Christmas. Things change though when her Uncle Satnam, with a big white beard and a taste for sherry and mince pies comes to visit. Young Meera is played by Narisa Padhiar.

A young Chris O'Dowd is very suspicious of Santa Claus, which leads to a slightly embarrassing situation with a department-store Santa in "Capturing Santa" which stars Sharon Horgan as the young Chris's mother, Chris himself as Santa, and 8 year old Irish actor Robert Donnelly, who starred in the title role in Eamon, as the young Chris.

Set in 1960 "Satan's Hoof" is written, directed and stars Julian Barratt (Mighty Boosh, Nathan Barley, Bunny and the Bull). This is the autobiographical tale of Julian’s teenage heavy metal rock dreams (with a cameo from Julian as a rock demon summoned by the power of his music). 19 year old Paul Conway (represented by North West Actors) plays the 16 year old Julian.

Tracy Beaker star Dani Harmer plays an unhappy teenage Jo Brand who is bullied at her new school until her unlikely saviour appears in the form of Susan Pigg (played by Jasmyn Banks (represented by Kelly Management)).

Victoria Wood's Little Cracker is the only story not to be autobiographical. It's 1961 and for eight-year-old Eunice, this year it’s just her and her dad, and there’s little festive spirit to be found. But, when she delivers eggs to Mrs Whitefield and is invited into her Christmassy home, Eunice comes to realise that cherished memories are never forgotten... Eunice, who was chosen by Victoria, is played by newcomer Briony Farr.

Little Crackers starts Sunday 19th December at 9pm on Sky1 and Sky1 HD.

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