Sky is bringing an adaptation of David Walliams’ wickedly funny children’s novel Ratburger to screens this Christmas.

Three-time Children’s Book of the Year winner Walliams will star in the gruesome comedy alongside BAFTA TV Award-winning actress Sheridan Smith (Cilla, Gavin & Stacey, Miss Biggs), Mark Benton (The Halcyon, Waterloo Road), Nigel Planer (The Young Ones) and Ben Bailey Smith (Law and Order: UK).

Ratburger follows a young girl called Zoe (Talia Barnett), who has a stepmother (Smith) that despises her, a dad (Benton) who’s never around and has a miserable time at the hands of Tina Trotts (Tillie Amartey), the school bully. Her only chum is Harry (George Kent), until she discovers a baby rat in her bedroom she names him Armitage and they quickly become firm friends. Zoe also discovers he’s no ordinary rat – he’s a rat that can dance. She sets out to show off her rodent pal’s skill at the school talent show but her stepmother and shifty burger man Burt (Walliams) have other ideas, which include throwing Armitage into the mincer and putting rat burgers on the menu.

David Walliams said: “I am thrilled my book is coming to Sky and especially thrilled that I am playing the villain Burt. Plus I will be working with one of my favourite comedy actors Nigel Planer and someone who I adore working with, the super talented Sheridan Smith.”

Ratburger was commissioned by Jon Mountague, Sky’s head of comedy. The show is written by Kevin Cecil (Gnomeo and Juliet, Billionaire Boy) and David Walliams, directed by BAFTA winner Matt Lipsey (Little Britain, Psychoville), executive produced by BAFTA nominee Jo Sargent (Miranda, Ab Fab) and produced by Joanna Hanley (Billionaire Boy) for King Bert Productions.

Jon Mountague said: “Hilarious, gruesome and warm-hearted in equal measure, David’s book Ratburger is a terrific tale, with a fantastic cast. We jumped at the chance to bring the adventure, villainy and vermin to screens.”

Jo Sargent said: “We are delighted to be making Ratburger for Sky and are very much looking forward to bringing one of David’s most popular and gruesome books to life.”

The show will be available on Sky 1, on demand and Sky Go, as well as through online streaming service NOW TV with a NOW TV Entertainment Month Pass.