Film

'Bob looked down at me benignly, like feline royalty – which he was'

The grand dame of children’s literature, Jacqueline Wilson, makes a surprise cameo in A Christmas Gift From Bob. She writes about how it came about

A Christmas Gift from Bob Street Cat bob sits ona. bag in a christmas outfit

Credit

I’d heard about James and his wonderful cat Bob long before either film – a friend of mine had chatted to James at Covent Garden and told me all about them.

My own rescue cat Jacob has a sweet and gentle nature, but he runs away to hide whenever anyone comes to the house. He even struggles desperately if I try to pick him up. The idea of Bob keeping James company in such a crowded noisy place astonished me.

I was therefore thrilled to see James and Bob at a party given by my publishers. These sorts of occasions are always very loud, brightly lit, and extremely hot – and yet there was James over the other side of the room, wearing Bob round his shoulders like a fur stole, both looking so chilled and cool.

I pushed my way through the crowd and went up to them, feeling a bit foolish and fangirl. I admired Bob and asked if I could stroke him. James affably agreed so I paid Bob due attention. He looked down at me benignly, like feline royalty – which he was.

I had no idea a second film was being made about James and Bob.

Then a script was sent to me via my agent – with a suggestion that I might like to play myself! I was delighted to be included and jumped at the chance – though I found the actual filmmaking unnerving. It’s especially hard playing yourself! Still, it was great to meet Luke, who’s brilliant at being James in the film.

The real James was on the set too, which was a huge bonus – and Bob himself.

I was lucky enough to spend time with them and find out all the exciting things that had happened since we last met.

I was devastated when I read about Bob’s death, though relieved to know that James has adopted several more cats.

Still – there will only be one Bob. He made such a difference to James and turned his life around in a marvellous heart-warming way.

It just shows that even if you’re really down on your luck and everything seems hopeless, there’s always a chance that a whole new happy successful future is just round the corner.

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