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The Daily Record 09 February 2006

DAVID Jason has signed up to star in a 6million TV version of a Terry Pratchett novel.

The Only Fools And Horses star will play Death's butler in fantasy comedy Hogfather.

Pratchett fan Jason, 66, said: "I am thrilled to be taking part in Hogfather.

"To play the part of Albert is going to be great fun."

The four-hour show will be broadcast on Sky One in two parts over Christmas.

It is the first of Pratchett's 31 Discworld novels to be turned into a live-action film.

The Hogfather is Discworld's version of Santa Claus. When he goes missing, Death steps in - with help from his grumpy wizard assistant Albert.

Meanwhile, Death's granddaughter Susan tries to find the Hogfather.

House of Cards actor Ian Richardson has already signed up to the show, to be shot by Leon director Vadim Jean.

It will be filmed in Romania and will mix live action with computer animation.

JK Rowling is the only living British author to have sold more than Pratchett. He has sold 45million books.

He said Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings had made fantasy fiction "the flavour of the moment".

Pratchett added: "Now there's the technology which makes it cheap to make - what you couldn't do 10 years ago, you can do easily now.

"You can now make fantasy look quite real."

Earlier this year, BBC1 had a ratings hit with a serial based on Pratchett's children's book, Johnny and the Bomb.