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The Magical World of Julia Donaldson

A celebration of the life and work of Julia Donaldson and the remarkable cast of characters that have sprung from her imagination.

A celebration of the life and work of one of Britain's best-selling children's authors, with unique access to Julia Donaldson, her family, her rich archives and home movies, and the remarkable cast of characters that have sprung from her imagination. Specially commissioned animated illustrations from her long-term illustrator Axel Scheffler bring Julia's biography to life, and well-known admirers and collaborators pay tribute to the woman who has created characters and stories that have become fixtures of children’s bedtime routines all around the world, as well as spawning award-winning adaptations for stage and screen.

Looking at The Gruffalo, Zog and the Flying Doctors, Princess Mirror-Belle, The Scarecrow's Wedding, Stick Man and The Paper Dolls, the programme uncovers the surprising stories behind the creation of Julia's iconic characters and what they mean to a generation of readers. It also explores why Donaldson’s books appeal to both children and adults alike – tackling serious themes of love, loss, fear and bullying in a poignant but subtle way.

Passages from Julia's much-loved books are read by Helena Bonham Carter, Imelda Staunton and James McAvoy, and contributors including David Walliams, Nadiya Hussain, Claudia Winkleman, Sophie Dahl, Victoria Coren Mitchell and Michael Rosen pay tribute to her talent.

59 minutes

Last on

Wed 23 Dec 2020 19:30


Role Contributor
Featured Artist Julia Donaldson
Narrator Julie Walters
Reader Helena Bonham Carter
Reader Imelda Staunton
Reader James McAvoy
Interviewed Guest David Walliams
Interviewed Guest Nadiya Hussain
Interviewed Guest Claudia Winkleman
Interviewed Guest Sophie Dahl
Interviewed Guest Victoria Coren Mitchell
Interviewed Guest Michael Rosen
Interviewed Guest Axel Scheffler
Interviewed Guest Lydia Monks
Interviewed Guest Sara Ogilvie
Interviewed Guest Rebecca Cobb
Interviewed Guest Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Director Katy Homan
Executive Producer Tanya Hudson