A new radio version of The Snowman has been cancelled by the BBC after its composer complained that it might make it sound silly.
Stephen Fry was listed as narrating a new version of the score by Howard Blake, on BBC Radio 3 this Christmas Eve. The music was to be sung rather than played.
The BBC said: “We were saddened and surprised to hear of Mr Blake’s concerns as we sought permission from him and his publishers and he has been consulted and has contributed throughout.
“A distinguished team has been skilfully developing plans to bring this production to millions of listeners this Christmas, so it’s a great shame we have to remove this from our festive schedule, in line with Mr Blake’s wishes.”
Howard Blake composed the music for the original 1982 animated film and said he was absolutely delighted with the decision to stop it.
He said while he received thousands of requests and gave permission to pretty well every arrangement, he did not think this particular one was a good idea.
Speaking with the Daily Telegraph, Howard said the new arrangement was a desecration and absolutely vile. He said he originally refused permission for a vocal arrangement, but was told Prince Charles and the Queen had already been told about it.