Tabby McTat film Christmas special time and date

A release date and time have been confirmed for new Christmas animation Tabby McTat on BBC One this festive season..


Magic Light Pictures, the acclaimed BAFTA-winning and Oscar-nominated producers, bring Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s iconic picture book to the screen.

Set against the backdrop of bustling London streets, this tale celebrates the endearing friendship between a musical feline and a talented busker named Fred.

Tabby McTat comes to life in a captivating animated adaptation, marking the 11th collaboration between Magic Light Pictures and the BBC.

When is Tabby McTat on TV?

You can watch the new film on Christmas Day (Monday, 25 December) at 2:35PM on BBC One and iPlayer. The special runs for 25 minutes.

With an all-star cast, the short movie features Rob Brydon (Gavin and Stacey) as the lovable Fred, alongside Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísú (Gangs of London) as the charming Tabby.

Joining them are Cariad Lloyd (Peep Show) as Prunella, Joanna Scanlan (The Thick of It) as Pat, Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who) lending her voice as the narrator and Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes) as the delightful Sock.

The intricate animation work has been crafted by Red Star Studio.

The storyline follows Fred, the talented busker, and his loyal companion Tabby McTat, who delight audiences with their music on the vibrant streets of London. However, their lives take a turn when an unexpected accident befalls Fred, leaving him incapacitated and taken away in an ambulance. As the tale unfolds, audiences will be left wondering – what fate awaits Tabby McTat, left alone amidst the bustling cityscape?


2023 is a momentous year for the creative duo Julia and Axel, marking three decades of their artistic collaboration.

Producer Barney Goodland said: “Julia and Axel’s book is a beautiful, heart-warming story that we’re delighted to be adapting for BBC viewers this Christmas. The friendship between Fred and Tabby is a truly special one and the film explores how their relationship changes unexpectedly as their lives move forward, and ultimately, how they learn to embrace that change.”

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