BET you didn’t know that a new city chap played a leading role in the nativity story, writes Sammy Jones.
Nope, not THAT nativity scene – the one that aired on CBEEBIES yesterday!
Some younger residents around town will have been glued to the small screen watching the retelling of the nativity, through the eyes of a cow called Marje.
Marje lives in a run-down stable in Bethlehem, but bored of being stuck where nothing ever happens, she goes to town, taking her younger brother, a spangly-leotard wearing chicken by the name of Brian, as chaperone.
The duo are convinced a party is going to happen, but despite stopping travellers to ask where it’s at, they come up with no answers.
A herd of sheep have been moved into town by shepherds after a heavenly host told them a new King was about to be born, but a donkey, having lugged his boss’s pregnant wife from outside the Nazareth ring-road, doesn’t want a party – just a rest.
And he’s none too pleased to learn that his boss didn’t even book a hotel!
Camels hiding in a rubbish dump get Marge and Brian chased through the back gardens of Bethlehem by local prefect Pontius Pilate’s horse guard who are on the hunt for a trio of star-gazing, wise astronomer chaps that the camels carried from the eastern deserts.
Are you keeping up?
By now Brian and Marge are weary and lost.
But then Brian sees a bright star...
following it to the main street, they join with a gargantuan crowd and are soon swept along to a very, very familiar square.
There, the whole town is engrossed in an unfolding picture, including the donkey, his carpenter boss, his wife, three camels, the same number of wise men, and a tiny newborn baby with a little halo...
Best of all, the whole scene is being played out in Marje and Brian’s stable!
And there the viewer leaves the happy picture, and an equally happy bird and bovine, relieved they didn’t miss the party after all.
Isy Suttie (Dobbie in Peep Show to us not-so-ickle folks) is the voice of Marje, while Johnny Vegas is the feathered one in this delightful animation from the Baby Cow productions stable.
Penned by Andy Cutbill and with illustrations by Russell Ayto, the whole caboodle has been produced by new city ace Tim Searle, and features more local talent on the animation team.
“It’s been great making this animated comedy for CBeebies,” Tim told GO!
“It’s the nativity story from a cow’s point of view that’s taken the last five months to put together.”
“We assembled a great voice cast and it’s been a lot of fun – we even managed to squeeze a mention of Milton Keynes in there!”
“We hope everyone will enjoy it,” he added.
And there is still time to snuggle up and soak in the cute delivery, with further opportunities to view The Cow That Almost Missed Christmas tomorrow at 4.30pm on BBC1 and again on Christmas Day, at 6.30am on BBC2.