The following is a guest post.
I was quite chuffed when I learned that PBS would be showing Mr. Stink this past Sunday. I have read a couple of David Walliams’ clever children’s books and was looking forward to seeing a screen adaption of one. My anticipation was quickly replaced by disappointment when I discovered my local channels wouldn’t be airing the holiday movie.
Needless to say I found another way to watch this delightful family story or I wouldn’t be writing this post right now. More about that later but right now, on to Mr. Stink…
We start by meeting young Chloe Crumb (Nell Tiger Free), a twelve year old girl with the usual accompanying problems; mean girls at school, an overachieving little sister and a mother who doesn’t understand her.
Nevertheless, when a classmate of Chloe’s throws a banana peel at a homeless man on a park bench, the kind Miss Crumb feels bad for him and consequently strikes up a conversation with the odoriferous gentleman.
What she discovers when she meets Mr. Stink (Hugh Bonneville) is that he is an intelligent man of manners who just so happens to be a vagabond. He is devoted to his dog Duchess (Pudsey from 2012’s Britain’s Got Talent) and is a fan of coffee house beverages.
When Chloe invites Mr. Stink to stay the night in her family’s garden shed one cold December evening, a whole chain of events begins to unfold.
1. With her mother (Sheridan Smith), an aspiring MP, campaigning on a blatantly anti-homeless platform, Chloe must keep Mr. Stink’s presence on their property a secret.
2. As Chloe gets to know Mr. Stink better over the next day or so, she begins to suspect that he is not the mere tramp he presents himself to be. From items found in his tattered and filthy overcoat, Chloe begins her investigation without the old man’s permission.
3. When Mr. Stink realizes his coat has been laundered and his possessions tampered with, he bursts into the Crumb house during a TV interview which, in turn, makes him an internet sensation.
If you didn’t get to watch Mr. Stink on its original broadcast date of December 22nd, you can stream this one hour holiday special from the PBS link below.
If like me, your station didn’t have Mr. Stink on its schedules; let them know you want to see even more programs like this in the future… especially when their pledge drives are underway. Your voice can be a powerful force for British telly!
Carmen is an American wife and mother of two college students who live away from home. With her yellow lab Malcolm by her side, she watches and writes about British television for her own blog Everything I Know about the UK I Learned from the BBC. Read more of Carmen’s posts here.