Tidy Bag

Ray Winstone records Wombles TV voice

A new behind-the-scenes video shows actor Ray Winstone recording the voice of Tobermory for the forthcoming Wombles TV series.

Footage of him working in the studio with Mike Batt is interspersed with CGI clips from several episodes, building on some of the previews we saw earlier this year in The Return Of The Wombles.

Not forgetting the obligatory song: “Who’s the Womble with hammer and nails? Tobermor-eee-ee-ee-ee, Tobermor-ee-ee…”

Best known for ‘hard man’ roles, Ray Winstone starred in the gangster film Sexy Beast with Mike Batt’s wife, Julianne White. Mike first pondered the idea of adding him to the Wombles cast two years ago on Twitter, and confirmed the part on 29 May this year:

The casting news made the national press in July, after Mike Batt mentioned it at the Children’s Media Conference during a panel session about the increasing pace of children’s television shows.

“Bernard Cribbins is doing Great Uncle Bulgaria, and Ray Winstone is doing Tobermory,” he said. “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. You can hold the attention of the child with laughter, quality and music.”

Stuart Dredge reported on the event for The Guardian, and other sites were quick to pick up the story, leading to a stream of comments about how this contemporary version of Tobermory might intimidate people into cleaning up their litter.

Having already signed up Bernard Cribbins as Great Uncle Bulgaria, will Mike Batt also secure his first choice Dawn French as the voice of Madame Cholet? After all, with a surname like that she ought to be perfect.

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