7 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Dearbhla Walsh to Direct Roald Dahl’s ‘Esio Trot’ for BBC One starring Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman
23 Aug 2013 : By Kevin Cronin
Dearbhla Walsh to direct Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman in 'Esio Trot'.
Sligo director Dearbhla Walsh – winner of an Emmy for ‘Little Dorrit’ and an IFTA for ‘The Silence’ – has signed on to direct a BBC adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book ‘Esio Trot’, starring Judi Dench and Dustin Hoffman.

Ms Walsh is set to begin filming the 90 minute film in London next Spring, based on a screenplay adapted by Richard Curtis (‘Love Actually’, ‘Notting Hill’) and Paul Mayhew-Archer (‘The Vicar of Dibley’).

The announcement was made by the new BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore at the Edinburgh TV Festival, with Bafta-winner Hilary Bevan Jones (‘Cracker’, ‘State of Play’) onboard to produce.

Ms Bevan Jones said: ‘To bring together two of the world’s favourite actors in Dame Judi and Dustin is a dream come true. Richard and Paul have captured the magic of Roald Dahl’s wonderful tale and I am thrilled that Dearbhla is to direct it.’

The plot follows shy retired bachelor Mr Hoppy, played by Dustin Hoffman, who concocts a plan to win the heart of Mrs Silver who lives in the apartment below him - involving a magic spell and her pet tortoise Alfie.

The title ‘Esio Trot’ is tortoise spelled backwards but to reveal any more would be to spoil the book’s clever twists.

Ms Walsh’s other directing credits include five IFTA nominations for ‘Little Dorrit’, ‘Hide & Seek’, ‘Shameless’, ‘Imagining Ulysses’ and for short film ‘Cosa Nite’.

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