David Tennant, famous for performing in esteemed roles as Hamlet and The Doctor in Doctor Who, is now the voice of the audiobook of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, written by the author of The Unforgotten Coat (for Our Read 2011), Frank Cottrell Boyce.
In addition to performing both in theatre and on TV as Hamlet, Tennant has performed in literature-based roles as Barty Crouch Junior in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the title character in Casanova and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in The Romantics.
In an interview with Lucy Fleming, the niece of Ian Fleming who wrote the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, Tennant expressed his surprise at the fact the Child Catcher was created by Roald Dahl for the film and did not feature in the book, but could still appreciate both works.
Inspired by both the book and the film, Frank Cottrell Boyce’s 2011 follow-up to Fleming’s 1964 original sees the Tooting family restore an old camper van and fit it with a magical engine following Dad being given his marching orders at work. You can read the first chapter of the book here.
Of the new book Tennant said:
It’s clever because of the way it absolutely is loyal and very respectful of its source material..Slightly surreal…there’s a kind of macabre element to some of the things that go on in there, there’s some quite dark areas it goes into, and some very, very unexpected twists and turns. [It’s] hugely readable. When I was asked to read the audiobook I sat down to read the book and flew through it, it’s just so easy and fascinating and all the things a good book should be.
In November Frank paid a vist to Liverpool Hope University as part of The Reader Organisation’s partnership with the Faculty of Education. Frank spoke to first year Education students about ‘Why Books Matter’ in a brilliant keynote lecture. You can read about his lecture here, and be sure to revisit the website for updates about the progress of the innovative Hope Reader project and other author visits to Liverpool Hope University.