This 90-minute musical version of the Hans Christian Anderson story The Little Match Seller – now set in London rather than Copenhagen – was produced by ITV to air on television at Christmas 1986 and starred Roger Daltrey from The Who and model-turned-actress Twiggy, with an introduction by Michael Hordern.
Daltrey played Jebb Macklin, the alcoholic father of the 12-year-old match girl (newcomer Natalie Morse), while Twiggy featured as Josie Roberts – a blowsy, busty Cockney music hall singer who moves in with him and befriends the little girl.
As the poor little match girl tramps the winter streets selling her wares, she strikes one and is transported into a magical world.
11-year-old Natalie Morse, a schoolgirl from Enfield in Middlesex, landed the title role from 400 hopefuls.
Jimmy Jewel, Paddie O’Neil and Stratford Johns featured in cameo roles.
The film was screened on ITV on the afternoon of Sunday 28 December 1986. The music was composed by Keith Strachan with choreography by David Toguri.
Russell Lee Nash