Sophie Ellis-Bextor, David Arnold and Don Black Come Together for Theme Song for Mog’s Christmas
“As Long as I Belong” is composed by David Arnold with lyrics by Don Black and performed by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
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A trio of towering British musical talent has collaborated on the theme song for Channel 4 and Universal Pictures Content Group’s much-anticipated adaptation of Judith Kerr’s classic children’s book Mog’s Christmas (HarperCollins Children’s Books) which is being produced by Lupus Films and directed by Robin Shaw, for this Christmas. Multi award-winning composer David Arnold and Oscar-winning lyricist Don Black have penned “As Long as I Belong” which has been recorded for the film by singer-songwriter, author, mum of five and podcaster Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
The beautiful ballad, which is about the importance of belonging, will play over a specially animated segment of the hand-drawn animated special and illustrates Mog’s dream as she falls asleep on a snowy rooftop on Christmas Eve.
The music for “As Long as I Belong” and the original score for Mog’s Christmas have been composed by multi-award-winning composer David Arnold who, among his many credits, has scored five James Bond films and countless film and television shows, including Sherlock. The song’s lyrics have been penned by Oscar-winning lyricist and BBC R2 DJ Don Black, who has also provided lyrics for five James Bond films, as well as a number of classic hits, including ‘Born Free’ which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1966. Sophie Ellis-Bextor performs the song with her trademark style and verve. The Groovejet and Murder on the Dancefloor singer has released seven studio albums, including the most recent, Hana, and has won several awards including a Hungarian Music Award, two Ericsson Muzik Awards an AIM Independent Music Award and been nominated for three Brits.
Speaking at Air Studios in London where the song was recorded, Sophie Ellis-Bextor said: "When I told my kids I’d been asked to sing Mog’s song, they couldn't really believe it because Mog has been part of our world since my eldest was small, and he's 20 next year! It feels really special."
David Arnold, composer, said: "I'd have been really annoyed if they’d have asked someone else – it takes you back to the days when you were reading the book to your kids, so it's a lovely thing to be asked to do."
Lyricist Don Black said: “We both had such a great time doing The Tiger Who Came To Tea that it was an easy decision to come back for Mog – it's a dream project for a lyricist."
Channel 4 Drama Commissioning Editor Gwawr Lloyd said: “We are delighted to see David and Don collaborate again on a song for a Channel 4 animation, and this time joined by the fabulous and popular Sophie Ellis-Bextor. The song is beautiful and super catchy too! It will transport us all into the wonderful world of Mog for sure.”
Robin Shaw, director said: “It’s such a joy to be working with David and Don again to make a happy, stand-alone song sequence all about belonging, where we’ll see more of Mog and her family in beautifully visualised, Christmassy settings. I’ve included some lovely little actions for children to join in with, hopefully enhancing their own sense of belonging as they watch.”
Mog’s Christmas has been commissioned by Channel 4 in association with Universal Pictures Content Group and is produced by Lupus Films, for HarperCollins Children’s Books and Universal Pictures Content Group. It will transmit on Channel 4 at Christmas 2023 in the 100th anniversary year of Judith Kerr’s birth. The starry voice cast includes Adjoa Andoh, Claire Foy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Miriam Margolyes, Maggie Steed, Zawe Ashton, Charlie Higson, Gareth Berliner, Judith Kerr’s daughter Tacy Kneale and newcomers Amelie Law and Teddy Skelton.
Created by Judith Kerr the author/illustrator and based on the antics of her first family cat, the Mog series of books started with Mog the Forgetful Cat, which was first published in 1970 by HarperCollins Children’s Books and has never been out of print. The warm-hearted and funny adventures went on to inspire a further 17 picture books in the series, selling over four million copies worldwide and translated into 21 languages.
Mog’s Christmas was commissioned by Gwawr Lloyd, Drama Commissioning Editor and Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama at Channel 4 in association with Universal Pictures Content Group and produced by Lupus Films' founders Camilla Deakin and Ruth Fielding together with executive producers Juliet Matthews at HarperCollins Children’s Books, Judith Kerr’s children Tacy and Matthew Kneale and Ann-Janine Murtagh. It is directed by Robin Shaw (Director - The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Co-Director - We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, Assistant Director - The Snowman and The Snowdog) and written by Joanna Harrison (who adapted The Tiger Who Came to Tea, co-directed We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and was Co-Writer and Art Director on The Snowman and The Snowdog). This new animated special will see a team of artists bring to life Judith Kerr's vivid illustrations in Lupus Films' distinctive, hand-drawn animated style from their studio in London.
Universal Pictures Content Group will manage the global distribution and marketing for the animated special outside of Channel 4’s rights.
Sony Music Publishing will be handling the worldwide administration and licensing of the original score.
Mog’s Christmas is a Lupus Films production in association with Tabby Tales, HarperCollins Children’s Books and Universal Pictures Content Group for Channel 4 Television. © Tabby Tales Limited 2023
Source Channel 4
July 25, 2023 3:00am ET by Channel 4