Chicken Run actress says ageism is the reason she's been axed from sequel

Julia Sawalha has re-recorded some the original script to compare her voice. Credit: Julia Sawlha/Vimeo

The actress who voiced Ginger in the original Chicken Run has accused Bristol-based Aardman Animations of ageism after not being recast for the sequel.

Julia Swalha played the female lead in the world's highest-grossing stop-motion animated film released in the year 2000.

The 51-year-old actress tweeted to show how "disappointed and furious" she is that she has been given 'the chop'.

In an open letter, the Absolutely Fabulous star said she was told via her agent her voice now sounds "too old" and they want a younger actress to reprise the role.

She also shared a video of her voice test to demonstrate how her voice compares with the original film two decades on.

Julia Sawalha says she feels she has been "unfairly dismissed". Credit: Julia Sawalha

The statement follows reports that other lead Mel Gibson will not be returning as Rocky in Chicken Run 2.

The actress did not specifically name Gibson but suggested he had been "axed" for the same "excuse" that his voice is also "now too old".

ITV News has contacted Aardman Animations and Netflix for a comment.

The production of Chicken Run 2 is expected to go into full production in 2021 to be with a global release on Netflix.