How Leighton-Linslade played a part in magical Bear Hunt Ch4 show

The siblings peer nervously into the cave! Will they find a bear?
The siblings peer nervously into the cave! Will they find a bear?

The LBO can reveal that magical Channel 4 Christmas Eve show We’re Going On A Bear Hunt features music from two talented Leighton-Linslade men.

Stuart Hancock, 41, of Southcott Village, composed the score for the animation, while John Tubby, 26, founder of JT Guitar, Ryland Mews, plays the special ukelele piece at the end of the film.

John plays his ukelele as Stuart monitors the recording on the computer. Directors, Joanna and Robin, look on from behind.

John plays his ukelele as Stuart monitors the recording on the computer. Directors, Joanna and Robin, look on from behind.

The pair became involved with the adaptation of Michael Rosen’s classic children’s story, because Stuart was ‘pushed’ towards the directors, Joanna Harrison and Robin Shaw, by The Snowman and The Snowdog animator, Neil Boyle.

Stuart said: “I’d written music for a short film of Neil’s, – who is also one of 100 animators for ‘Bear Hunt’ – and he told Joanna and Robin ‘this is your man!’ I then got John involved, as I had guitar lessons with him earlier this year and knew he was ideal for the job.

“The best part was having the budget to record with a 50-piece orchestra and 50-piece London Youth Choir in Abbey Road’s ‘studio 1’ on Hallowe’en. The music, which I started writing in June, has a distinctive character, an adventure theme. The bear has a melancholy piece and the every time the dog sniffs there are musical clues about the bear!”

The story plot features five siblings and their dog, Rufus, on a hunt for the creature, while the half-hour animation has been expanded to include more characters than the book, with Olivia Colman as the mother, Mark Williams as the father, and Pam Ferris as the grandmother.

John said: “The father plays the ukelele during the end scene and we recorded my piece in Stuart’s home studio. The directors came down, too. They were very complimentary, which I’m delighted about!

“I think that in 30 or 40 years time it will still be on TV – it’s got a very strong ‘Snowman’ feel about it.”

John is now launching a YouTube channel for JT Guitar, while Stuart is working on a children’s opera about Elizabethan female pirates.

> We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is on Channel 4 at 7.30pm this Christmas Eve.