Bill Nighy hopes 'Arthur Christmas' will become staple Christmas viewing for years to come.

The British actor voices the character of Grandsanta, the former Santa Claus who still pines for his glory days, in the new animated comedy and Bill was so impressed with The Script he was happy to audition for the movie which he believes will become a Christmas classic.

He told Irish TV show 'Xpose': "Good scripts are rare so when you get a good one like this movie, it's really interesting. I had to audition for this movie. I badly wanted to be in it because I figured if the film was half as good as the script it would be one of those perennial Christmas movies that people will watch over and over again. I think it's going stick around."

Although he loved working on the film - which also has characters voiced by James McAvoy and Ashley Jensen - Bill admitted it was a "gruelling" process.

He said: "It is surprisingly gruelling recording for an animated movie, you do put in a lot of work. You always have to do your part over and over and over again so it's hard work. Because of the technical considerations it is relentless but I loved it."