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Magic Light’s ‘Superworm’ Wriggles to Ratings Success on BBC One

Superworm
Superworm

Television

Europe

Magic Light’s ‘Superworm’ Wriggles to Ratings Success on BBC One

Superworm, the latest festive special from Magic Light Pictures, wormed its way into the hearts of U.K. viewers over Christmas as it became both a critical and ratings hit. The half-hour family animation, based on the beloved book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, was the fifth most-watched BBC show on Christmas Day, and the No.1 children’s show, when its premiere on BBC One attracted a huge 40%+ share of viewing.

The Christmas Day (Dec. 25) transmission was seen by a massive audience of 5.1 million and its repeat a week later garnered 1.3 million viewers on the day (Live +Vosdal).

Superworm, voiced by Patricia Allison, Rob Brydon, Olivia Colman, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith and Matt Smith, is Magic Light’s ninth TV adaptation of a Donaldson/Scheffler title for BBC One and BBC iPlayer, the films have become firm fixtures in the Christmas schedules.

As well as delighting TV audiences, Superworm also thrilled the critics whose comments included “An instant classic” (The Sun), “Animation when it’s this good is one of Christmas TV’s greatest delights” (The Daily Telegraph) and “This will go down as the BBC’s standout offering” (The Guardian).

Martin Pope, Joint Managing Director, Magic Light, said, “Superworm is a lovely comedy with a heart-warming theme of friendship with a brilliant hero and a terrific villain – not to mention a fabulously talented cast! We’re absolutely thrilled that audiences took it to their hearts and that it achieved such a huge and positive response.”

Superworm fans have another treat in store this month as the invertebrate hero features in a new family activity trail at 26 Forestry England sites nationwide, in Magic Light’s latest partnership with the organization. The new self-led trail will encourage children to become superheroes of the forest themselves as they learn about all the heroic feats that worms and other minibeasts achieve and the important jobs they do for the nation’s forests.

A collection of licensed products is also now available from gruffaloshop.com, including a plush Superworm, clothing from Sainsbury’s, personalised homewares and accessories.

Building on its successful BBC One debut, Superworm’s international sales are going strong. It has been sold to ZDF (Germany), Movistar (Spain), NRK (Norway), RTV (Slovenia), SYN (Iceland), SVT (Sweden), Knowledge Network (Canada), ABC (Australia) and Alba (U.K.). Theatrical releases are being planned in the U.K. as well as in France with Les Films du Preau and Spain with Modiband. In the U.K., the special will be available on EST as of April 2022.

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