Wallace and Gromit return to face penguin nemesis Feathers McGraw

By Michael Sheils McNamee, BBC News

BBC Feathers McGraw appearing as if in a police line up, with a board which gives his height as three feet, and weight as 12 lbBBC

Wallace and Gromit will face their arch-enemy, the evil penguin Feathers McGraw, when they return in a new full-length feature film this Christmas, the BBC has confirmed.

The 70-minute adventure, titled Vengeance Most Fowl, will see the iconic duo face off against their nemesis who was last seen in the 1993 Oscar-winning short film The Wrong Trousers.

Wallace and Gomit creator Nick Park said he decided to bring back McGraw after fans asked if the character would ever return.

Made by Aardman Animations, it will be the first outing by the pair since 2008’s A Matter of Loaf and Death.

Wallace and Gromit films are a staple of the Christmas TV schedule, with the debut picture, a Grand Day Out – about Wallace deciding to fly to the moon (believing it to be made out of cheese) – appearing for Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 1990.

The follow up, The Wrong Trousers, was broadcast by the BBC on Boxing Day 1993.

Cracking Contraptions, a series of 10 short stop-motion animations, ran on the BBC throughout 2002, and in 2010 the duo were immortalised in a set of Christmas stamps.

Gromit loading equipment into a van reading 'Gnome Improvements, with Wallace holding a clipboard

The new film will see the evil penguin seek revenge on inventor Wallace and his loyal beagle Gromit.

In a teaser trailer released on Thursday, McGraw is seen leaving a prison cell having been presented with his possessions – including the red rubber glove he used in the 1993 film to disguise himself as a chicken before revealing his true nature.

Previous publicity for Vengeance Most Fowl revealed the film will see Wallace develop a “smart gnome” that seems to have a mind of its own.

Park, who directed the new 70-minute feature, said the thing he was asked most by fans was whether Feathers McGraw would ever return.

“Then it hit me: What if Feathers was involved with these gnomes? We’re hoping that this film will appeal to fans of ‘Gnome Noir’ everywhere,” he said.

Ben Whitehead will again play Wallace, having taken on the role following the death of Last Of The Summer Wine actor Peter Sallis who had voiced the character.

Comedian Peter Kay, who was in The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, returns as PC Mackintosh – now promoted to chief inspector.

Reece Shearsmith, star of Inside No 9 and The League of Gentlemen, joins the case along with Everybody’s Talking About Jamie actress Lauren Patel.

There will also be cameos from Motherland actress and comedian Diane Morgan, Bridgerton actress Adjoa Andoh and comedian and actor Sir Lenny Henry.

The film will be shown on BBC One and BBC iPlayer over Christmas in the UK and in the rest of the world on Netflix.