Henry '˜The Fonz' Winkler's Christmas TV special filmed in Dewsbury airs

A festive TV special created by Henry 'The Fonz' Winkler which was filmed in Dewsbury will air today.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 12th December 2016, 1:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:35 pm
Henry Winkler in costume for Hank Zipzer's Christmas Catastrophe.
Henry Winkler in costume for Hank Zipzer's Christmas Catastrophe.

Hank Zipzer’s Christmas Catastrophe is to be broadcast on CBBC from 4.30pm.

The popular children’s show was started by Mr Winkler, who played The Fonz in cult TV hit Happy Days.

And during filming this summer he spoke to us about how his show idea got started and his love of “unbelievable” Yorkshire.

Pic: BBC Pictures

About the show, he said: “In 2003 when there was a lull in my acting career I started writing.

“Zipzer was a woman who lived on the 4th floor of the apartment building when I was growing up. I thought it was such a good name.”

The comedy drama, which has already enjoyed three series on CBBC, follows the life of Henry ‘Hank’ Zipzer, played by Nick James,

It is based on Mr Winkler’s own experiences as a young boy growing up with dyslexia.

Pic: BBC Pictures

Hank is a boy whose brain works differently to those around him, and he has a great imagination but doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with his parents or teachers.

Despite the daily challenges he encounters, Hank always manages to stay positive – and focused on his next masterplan.

Mr Winkler, who has also written books for children, stars as Hank’s favourite teacher Mr Rock.

He had trouble getting it made in America, but had more success in the UK and this was its fourth year of production, he said.

And he added that the people of Dewsbury have made him feel very welcome.

“I must say we are treated like family. It’s just unbelievably great. The people are warm,” he said.

“We were in a tunnel under a walkway. Every single person that walked through that tunnel had a smile for me and for the crew. That’s the way I like a community.”

During his time here he has also took a liking to Luigi’s Italian in Birstall.

“Luigi’s is a great restaurant, really great. It became our go-to.

“I can call anytime and we are greeted by one of their cheese and garlic pizzas when we walk in the door.”

He was also impressed by the chicken tikka masala offered at Tingley Balti House.

“Thank you for how unbelievable Yorkshire has been to the workers, to my wife [Stacey] and to me,” he said.