Ouch. This one may hit you right square in the childhood.
The short film adaptation of writer/illustrator Raymond Briggs’ picture book ‘The Snowman’ has been a perennial Christmas TV favourite for almost 35 years, and in its earliest broadcasts featured a filmed introduction by none other than David Bowie.
However, the now 83-year old Briggs has admitted he was not particularly impressed with the late music legend.
Speaking to the BBC on World Book Day earlier this week, Briggs recalled, “I did an introduction to the Snowman film, and the Americans wanted somebody more important than me, quite rightly. And they somehow got David Bowie to do it.
“He got it all wrong, terribly. Hopeless. It didn’t matter, they did it about six times. But it was fun meeting him, wearing his wonderful, glittering pink shoes. I’d never seen pink shoes before on a man.
“And he said, “I greatly admire your work.” And I said, ‘God, I wish I could say the same’… Well, I muttered it.”
Briggs has long voiced mixed feelings about the enduring Christmas classic status of ‘The Snowman,’ admitting he doesn’t much like the holiday, and objecting to the film’s addition of Father Christmas (another character Briggs explored in two picture books) in a bid to make the unforgettable climax – in which the young boy finds the Snowman melted – seem a bit less bleak.
An animated adaptation of Brigg’s ‘Father Christmas’ followed in 1991, with the late Mel Smith voicing the title character, and in 2002 a new introduction was filmed for ‘The Snowman’ featuring Father Christmas in place of Bowie, with Smith voicing the character once more.
‘The Snowman and the Snowdog,’ a belated sequel in which Briggs was not involved, followed in 2012.