Following last year’s Cinderella: After Ever After, Sky has announced the commission of two further instalments of the family specials for Sky One and NOW TV; Jack & The Beanstalk: After Ever After and Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After.

Sky Original Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After will air this coming Christmas on Sky One and streaming service NOW TV and production is due to start next month. The Christmas special stars David Walliams, Sheridan Smith and Blake Harrison and is produced by King Bert Productions.

It’s created and written by The Dawson Brothers and David Walliams, who takes on the role of the Giant in this reimagining of the classic tale. Alongside Walliams, Sheridan Smith (Cilla, Cleaning Up, The Royle Family) stars as The Woman with No Name, the self-proclaimed greatest giant-killer in the village and Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners, Trust Me) as Dodgy Dave, a shifty market stall trader who sold Jack the magic beans. Further cast includes Jocelyn Jee Esien who plays Pat, Ashley McGuire as Mayoress and Daniel Rigby as the Baker.

The 60-minute Christmas special begins where the fable ends, with a story of two very unlikely friends.

David Walliams said: “I often wondered what happened to Jack after ever after, so I decided to write a sequel because I can’t stop writing books! This is a star-studded festive treat – a comedy sequel to one of the best loved English fairy tales. I am delighted to be playing the Giant, alongside some of the biggest names in British TV.”

Sheridan Smith said: “This is a brilliantly funny piece and I’m so excited to be working with David again. My part ‘The Woman with No Name’, is a really fun part and like every baddie, she gets her comeuppance in the end! After the year we’ve had it’s the perfect story for Christmas that the whole family can enjoy together.”

Jon Mountague, Director of Comedy at Sky Studios, said: “Christmas is a time for love and cheer. And beanstalks. Once again David Walliams has bought a fairy tale cast to deliver a genuinely unique twist on an absolute classic. Fe Fi Fo Fum – I smell a wonderful treat for all the family this Christmas on Sky One.”

Sky have also revealed today that a third After Ever After special from King Bert Productions, written by Walliams and Kevin Cecil will be Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After. David Walliams will head up the cast once again with further announcements to follow.

Jo Sargent, Executive Producer and MD of King Bert Productions, said: “To be recreating these two-classic tales with a twist, building on the love and enthusiasm for Cinderella: After Ever After is something we’re incredibly excited about. David has a unique way of bringing these stories to life in the most wickedly funny way supported by our stellar cast in Sheridan Smith, Blake Harrison, Jocelyn Jee Ession, Ashley McGuire and Daniel Rigby. I believe all generations of the family will love these new tales.”

Commissioned by Zai Bennett, Sky UK’s Managing Director of Content and Jon Mountague, Director of Comedy at Sky Studios, and executive produced for Sky by Tilusha Ghelani, Jack & The Beanstalk: After Ever After is produced by King Bert Productions and executive produced by Jo Sargent (Malory Towers, Ratburger). It is directed by David Sant (The Reluctant Landlord, Benidorm, Yonderland) and produced by Adam Browne. Dan Zeff, Bafta award-winning director (Inside No 9), directs Hansel & Gretel. International distribution will be handled by NBCUniversal Global Distribution on behalf of Sky Studios.

Jon Creamer

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