Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn will play Raymond Briggs’ parents in an animated adaptation of one of The Snowman author’s best-selling books.

 

Ethel and Ernest



(Ethel & Ernest Productions/PA)

 

The duo will take on the title roles in the film version of Ethel And Ernest, which tells the story of the couple’s life through four decades of marriage, taking in the Great Depression, the Second World War and the swinging 60s.

Luke Treadaway, who won plaudits when he starred in the stage version of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, will play Raymond.

Jim Broadbent, Luke Treadsway and Brenda Blethyn



(Ethel & Ernest Productions/PA)

 

The cast also includes Born Free star Virginia McKenna, Pam Ferris and EastEnders veteran June Brown (Dot Cotton).

Director Roger Mainwood said: “It’s a real privilege to be directing the feature film of Ethel And Ernest, which many consider to be Raymond Briggs’ masterpiece.

“Brenda and Jim are absolutely bang on as the title characters and the other actors bring an enormous amount of charm and character to their roles.”

Jim Broadbent and Brenda Blethyn



(Ethel & Ernest Productions/PA)

 

Brenda said: “I adore working with Jim Broadbent. We’ve worked together before and it’s great to come back together to play these wonderful characters.

“They lived through two wars and it’s so, so reminiscent of my own parents’ life in so many ways. Ethel even looks like my mum!”

The film, which will be shown on the BBC, is set for release next year.