A dream team of British acting talent has signed on to help bring Sixteen South’s new animated preschool program Claude to life. Featuring the voices of Simon Callow CBE, Anne Reid MBE, Shane Richie, Jane Horrocks, Su Pollard, Tameka Empson and Bhasker Patel, the charming children’s book adaptation will launch on Disney Junior in the UK this summer, following its debut in Australia Feb. 12. The show is set to air on Disney Junior channels across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Australia later this year.
“I’m completely thrilled that Claude’s world is being brought to life by such an amazing group of actors. It’s a nervous moment, as an author, hearing the voices of characters who have lived in your head for over a decade but my every expectation has been surpassed,” said author-illustrator Alex T. Smith. “I’m so grateful to the creative team at Sixteen South for bringing together such a wonderful Claude cast and to the actors themselves for their dedication and talent.”
Claude (50 x 12’) follows the humorous adventures of a little beret-clad dog named Claude, and his faithful sidekick, Sir Bobblysock, in the cosmopolitan seaside resort of Pawhaven — home to an eccentric mix of larger-than-life characters and colorful visitors. The distinctive hand-drawn 2D animated show fits into the Disney TV experience with music, heartfelt stories and characters, learning & development themes designed for preschoolers. Claude has been devised for TV and produced by Colin Williams, head written by Sara Daddy and directed by Tim Harper.
“It’s so exciting to finally hear these brilliant illustrated characters come to life with our amazingly talented cast,” said Williams, Creative Director at Sixteen South. ”They are filling Claude’s madcap adventures with a wonderful exuberance and fun that I’m sure will win the hearts of Disney Junior’s young viewers and their parents.”
Simon Callow (Victoria & Abdul) plays raconteur Sir Bobblysock; Anne Reid (Coronation Street) is Dame Mumsie Turret; Shane Richie (EastEnders) is lovable geezer and trader, Denzel Pedal; Jane Horrocks (Absolutely Fabulous) voices dancer Kimberly as well as Claude’s very “Middle England” owner, Mrs. Shinyshoes; Su Pollard (Hi-De-Hi!) is “glam ham” actress Gloria Swoon; Tameka Empson (EastEnders) plays fun but fair policewoman PC Anne Cuffs; Bhasker Patel (Emmerdale); and 10-year-old newcomer Alexander Molony plays eager and enthusiastic pup hero, Claude.
“I just loved the character and the relationship between Claude and Sir Bobblysock. He’s very well written and the concept of the stories is very original,” said Callow, who plays a sock for the first time in his four-decade screen career. “There’s a lovely innocence about the series, however it’s also odd and wacky. The characters are so vivid, funny and unexpected.”