Esio Trot: James Corden narration divides viewers in 'heartwarming' Roald Dahl drama

The BBC show starred Oscar nominees Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman

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The Independent Culture

James Corden has been criticised for his narration of Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, with hundreds of viewers branding him “awful” on social media.

The much-hyped TV adaptation aired on BBC1 last night, starring Oscar nominees Dame Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman.

But while both actors impressed the audience as Esio Trot trended top in the UK on Twitter, Corden was scorned for “ruining” the programme and causing Dahl to “spin in his grave”.

It was not only Corden receiving negative feedback for his performance, however, as the show’s writers (including Blackadder’s Richard Curtis) were also attacked for deviating from the original book.

Dahl’s story follows the life of Mr Hoppy, a shy bachelor who harbours secret feelings for his neighbour Mrs Silver. Unfortunately for Mr Hoppy, however, Mrs Silver’s attentions are directed solely on her pet tortoise Alfie.

Of course, as is the nature of TV adaptations, many viewers enjoyed Corden's performance and he reported receiving many “kind” messages, with the show as a whole also well-received

Corden, is best known for his roles in Gavin and Stacey and The Wrong Mans, has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list for his services to drama.


The announcement on Wednesday proved a similar flop among Twitter users, with many believing that the actor and comedian was not worthy of the accolade.

Corden, of course, was “thrilled, overwhelmed and honoured to be recognised in such a way”.

He will replace Craig Ferguson as CBS chat show host on The Late Late Show, a move which is expected to see his US profile rise considerably.