The Wind in the Willows with Griff Rhys Jones | Modern Television

The Wind in the Willows with Griff Rhys Jones ITV1

On the 80th anniversary of the death of Kenneth Grahame, author of the treasured childhood story The Wind in the Willows, actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones sets off to investigate the story behind his greatest novel and most memorable character… Toad of Toad Hall.

In this one hour special for a new ITV1 Perspectives series, Griff searches for insight into the universal character of Toad- brushing away rules and swaggering through life, following his appetites and revelling in the impetuous- discovering that there is in fact a varying degree of Toad in all of us.

Delving deeper into the creation of the character and the writing of the stories, Griff reveals how Grahame wrote for, and about, his son Alastair, with whom his strained relationship ended in tragedy. Alastair was a somewhat troubled child, whose tears, tantrums and ungovernable ways are at the heart of Mr Toad’s inception. Yet the further he follows Alastair’s tragic tale, the further Griff moves away from Toad’s happy ending as he begins to unveil the void between the childhood fantasy of Grahame’s quintessential tale and the dark reality that overcame his only son who, at the age of 20, took his own life.

‘One of those perfectly judged programmes which makes you glad that television exists’

Spectator Magazine

‘Griff Rhys Jones has the ability to to whip out a surprising biographical fact in the manner of a magician drawing a coloured handkerchief from his sleeve

The Telegraph

Executive Producer- Griff Rhys Jones

Produced & Directed by Ian MacMillan

First transmitted Sunday 29th April 2012 on ITV1