Ray Winstone to voice Womble
Ray Winstone has joined the cast of 'The Wombles'.
The 59-year-old hardman will lend his voice to a new computer animated series of the classic children's show, alongside original voice actor Bernard Cribbins.
Speaking at the Children's Media Conference in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, creator Mike Batt said: "Bernard Cribbins is doing Great Uncle Bulgaria, and Ray Winstone is doing Tobermory.
"People keep asking if it's going to have that lovely parochial, cuddly quality that the Wombles are famous for.
"We have to bring it into the modern century, but do we have to speed it up, do we have to cut every second? Yes, we have to make it palatable to the modern audience, but we can do it other ways."
Mike spoke out to encourage TV bosses to push back against the increasing pace of children's programming during his speech at the event.
He said: "I believe you can hold the attention of the child - I don't just believe it, I know it - with laughter, quality and music. Because children really, really know about quality.
"We're spending a lot more money per episode. It's costing us over twice the expected budget to make these episodes, because we want to five them a really high-quality look ... I wouldn't claim to be a Pixar, but that's where we're going with it.
"You can add laughter, quality and music, and you don't have to go cut cut cut cut cut cut cut.
"If the programme makers would relax, the audiences would relax. We have a public duty. We're in the Piccadilly Circus of life, just going faster and faster and faster. Let's just have a bit of Lake District in there, that's all I'm saying."
The remake of 'The Wombles' - which was first shown on TV in 1973 - was originally set to air on Channel 5 in 2015.
However, according to the Guardian newspaper, the environmentally-friendly, pointy-nosed furry creatures don't currently have a broadcasting home.