Cinderella: After Ever After, Sky One (2 stars)

Cinderella: After Ever After, Sky One

Regrettable and risible speculative all-star festive show about Prince Charming and Cinderella

It's difficult to imagine anyone other than David Walliams being able to convince a major network to lay out finance and splash out on A-list casting for such a woefully empty project such as Cinderella: After Ever After. Billed as a family entertainment, it's marginally pre-watershed scheduling hints at some uncertainty as to where this hour-long effort should land. A speculative tale of what might have happened once Prince Charming and Cinderella moved beyond their glass-slipper moment and get hitched, it's neither knowingly smart enough to be fully enjoyed by a grown-up audience or wilfully daft for the kids to fully get on board.

It's certainly a decent enough premise and has a good cast to back it up: Celia Imrie revisits the kind of monstrous home-wrecker she played in Nanny McPhee, while Sian Gibson as Cinders does her homely down-to-earth thing with a certain grace. But Walliams is disastrously all over this as the narcissistic Prince Charming (a regrettable 80s-ish dance routine dubbed 'Charmer Time' is the first sign that this hour-long calamity could be heading swiftly down the tubes) while the likes of Alex Owen and Ben Ashenden (the otherwise excellent Fringe act The Pin) are woefully underused as the Prince's best mates and dance partners.

One decent running joke of the Prince forgetting exactly which fairytale character he has hitched his wagon to is lost in a misjudged script which appears to poke fun at dementia through the portrayal of Tom Courtenay's elderly monarch who clearly has no idea who or where he is, while the wholly unfunny spoonerisms of Matthew Seer's out-of-tune Herald might well have viewers reaching for the remote to see if the festive Bake Off is on yet.

Cinderella: After Ever After airs on Sky One, Tuesday 24 December, 8pm.

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