David Walliams has explained why his latest Christmas special of Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After, features some tongue and cheek references to cancel culture ahead of its release later this year.
Britain’s Got Talent judge and comedian David is bringing back his alternative take on some of our favourite fairy tales for a third year following his take on Jack and The Beanstalk and Cinderella.
After Hansel (Bill Bekele) and Gretel (Lily Aspell) emerge from their narrow escape with the witch (Sheridan Smith), they soon find strange goings-on within the village as a stranger is trying to entice the residents with sweet treats, with David starring as a troll.
Their mission quickly leads them back to the witch’s house of sweets as they prepare to face her once again.
While the fairy tales themselves may be hundreds of years old, the scripts make sure to add in some nods to the present day.
Viewers will see this year’s episode mention concepts such as cancel culture, fat shaming and trolling amongst a few, and David shared why he wanted to include these within the light-hearted show.
Asked why references to cancel culture and the like feature in the one-off episode, he said: ‘I just think, when we’re doing something in the modern day, it’s good to have jokes about things that are going on at the time.
‘When you’re looking at a fairy tale, in the other one we did, Jack and the Beanstalk, there was stuff about lockdowns and things like that.
‘I think it’s good to mention things that are going on at the time, so you’ve got some gags as well for the grown ups as well as the kids.
‘Because the kids get all the fun of it and then there’s some jokes in there [that are] more up to date and not exactly adult jokes but more time specific jokes. ‘
It’s not the first time David has worked with Sheridan on a similar show, with the pair teaming up last year for Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After.
This year’s special sees Gavin and Stacey star Sheridan transform into the wicked witch and she explained just how long the process took to get her into character.
When they first did it [the make up] I fell asleep in the chair – it was 3am.
‘I nodded off and then when I first saw it it was mad – such a transformation.
‘I remember sending all my mates pictures and they said “I can’t even see you in this.”
‘Watching it now I can kind of see my eyes, but they changed everything. It was so clever.’
The star also thanked David for casting her as a ‘baddie’ and admitted she’d love to play more child-oriented parts in the future.
Hansel and Gretel: After Ever After airs later this year on Sky and NOW TV.