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Hansel and Gretel David Walliams reveals how long it took him to be transformed into a troll for Sky special

David Walliams and Sheridan Smith chat about their scary makeovers for a festive new TV adaptation of Hansel & Gretel.

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Sheridan Smith and David Walliams star in a new take on the classic tale

Sheridan Smith and David Walliams star in a new take on the classic tale

Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After airs on Thursday December 23 at 8pm on Sky Max and NOW

Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After airs on Thursday December 23 at 8pm on Sky Max and NOW

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Sheridan Smith and David Walliams star in a new take on the classic tale

David Walliams is back on our screens for another of his Christmas specials, but you might not recognise him when he takes centre stage in Hansel and Gretel.

After the success of his Jack & The Beanstalk special for Sky a year ago, Williams returns with another cheerful and eye-catching panto drama, as he stars alongside Sheridan Smith, Sophie Thompson and Mark Addy in another classic tale.

Walliams’ familiar features are camouflaged by a stunning makeover that makes him unrecognisable, with the challenge of being transformed into a troll a joy for the Little Britain star.

“It’s about three hours in make-up and prosthetics and then they put me in this big suit,” said Walliams, with Hansel and Gretel that will air on Sky Max and NOW on Thursday (December 23rd).

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Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After airs on Thursday December 23 at 8pm on Sky Max and NOW

Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After airs on Thursday December 23 at 8pm on Sky Max and NOW

Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After airs on Thursday December 23 at 8pm on Sky Max and NOW

“I love a massive transformation so I’ve really enjoyed being the Troll. That’s one of the most exciting things you can do as an actor.

“To my mind, the more unrecognisable you are the more fun it is. People love dressing up at Halloween and as an actor you get to do that a lot of the time. I love when you are someone else. It’s the best thing ever.

“Also, I think most make-up artists enjoy the opportunity to do something in the fantasy or comedy area where it’s more than just making people look gorgeous.

“We had a lot of fun creating our Troll. Obviously trolls do exist in other stories and what’s good about it now is there is this term that we all know, trolling.

“So there was plenty to play off with that. You want to make sure that everyone in the family is entertained so you want some jokes the grown-ups are going to enjoy as much as the kids.”

Williams is reunited with Sheridan Smith for this Sky special, with the Royale Family and Gavin and Stacey star hard to spot behind her own prosthetic makeover for her role as The Witch.

“What I didn’t realize was that it was three hours make-up,” said Smith, who has a Christmas record out alongside Gary Barlow this year.

“My call time was 4am every morning to get witch-ified. There was a fake nose and this thing called Wrinkle Stimple. They put all this latex on your skin. They squeeze you and it transforms your face.

“It’s brilliant, big bags, fake teeth. It could be any actress in the world. It doesn’t look anything like me. I sent a picture to my mum and she said, ‘That’s not you.’

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“Even my mum couldn’t see me inside it. I didn’t mind the early starts in make-up though. I found it quite relaxing.”

Walliams’ own career has become something of a fairy tale of its own, as he has become one of the best-selling children’s authors, with his latest release Gangsta Granny strikes again lighting up the Christmas book charts.

“I thought that I would just write one or two books as I thought it would be a nice little thing to do, almost selfishly – just for myself,” he added.

“I never thought they would be so successful and it has become my career now. The success of the books has taken everyone by surprise, not least myself. It’s a really nice position to find yourself in, where you’re really accepted as an author.”

Family entertainment on demand is what we will all want over the Christmas period and that should ensure Hansel and Gretel is a huge hit for Sky.

  • Hansel & Gretel: After Ever After – 23rd December at 8pm on Sky Max and NOW.

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