Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch will voice an audio sequel to Raymond Brigg’s Christmas story The Snowman.
The Snowman and Snowdog, written and directed by Hilary Audus, a television follow-up to the 1982 Oscar-nominated short film, will be screened on Channel 4 this Christmas Eve.
An adaptation of the film for audio and e-readers will be voiced by Cumberbatch and will be available to download for Kindle, Nook and Apple devices on 29 December 2012.
Like the original The Snowman the television story will be not be narrated and will be wordless. But publishers Puffin decided the e-device need some voiceover and invited Cumberbatch to do.
The 36-year-old actor told the Radio Times: “The magic of The Snowman is universal for every generation; as is the thrill of a first encounter with snow.
“And in this new story, to bring the Snowdog to life for new young readers was a joy. I hope it will become as much of a Christmas tradition as the beautiful original was when I was a boy.”
The actor has had another high-profile voiceover gig lately, having performed spoken-word for Friendly Fires’ new album Late Night Tales.
The Snowman and the Snowdog was announced in August. It is set 30 years after the original film and centres on a boy mourning the death of his dog. As snow blankets his garden, keeping him inside, the boy allays his boredom by exploring.
Lifting up a floorboard he finds a scarf with snowmen on it - inspired he goes outside and builds a snowman and a snowdog. The trio then embark on a series of chilly adventures including including flying over the London Eye and gate-crashing a snowman's convention at the North Pole.
Brigg's The Snowman was first published in 1978 and adapted for television in 1982. Its famous soundtrack includes "Walking In the Air".
Producer of the original film John Coates died in September.