British actor Idris Elba has said it is “surreal” to star in the animated series Knuckles as he used to play Sonic The Hedgehog as a child.

The forthcoming series follows the red echidna – or spiny anteater – voiced by Elba as he teaches his warrior ways to Wade Whipple, played by The Mindy Project star Adam Pally.

Paramount Pictures introduced audiences to Knuckles, voiced by Elba, 51, in Sonic The Hedgehog 2 as an ally of Doctor Robotnik, played by Jim Carrey.

Speaking on the red carpet of the Paramount premiere, Luther star Elba told the PA news agency: “It feels like a bit of a dream, it feels like being able to step into a video game, and into a film, because I’ve always loved Sonic.

“I love the world. I played the game when I was a kid and now I’m in it, so it feels quite surreal.”

Elba also spoke about how he was able to convey humour through his voice.

Knuckles world premiere – London
Knuckles, Idris Elba, Adam Pally, Rory McCann and Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi) at the world premiere of Knuckles (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He said: “What we used to do in the room is just sort of say random stuff, and see if it stuck.

“So I’d say a line and and then I’d say it how I think Knuckles would say it and it would sometimes come out funnier.

“But often times it would just help me find the sound.”

Knuckles world premiere – London
Idris and Sabrina Elba (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Director Jeff Fowler said Sonic also made an impression on him as a child.

He told PA: “Playing that, that first game in 1991. I was 13 years old.

“It made a huge impression on me and so to be able to be making a third film and a TV show and all this to be going on right now.

“I couldn’t feel more fortunate and more lucky to be surrounded by so many, so much great talent, the cast, the crew, everyone.”

Sonic The Hedgehog first appeared in a 1991 video game of the same name. He is known for being able to run at extremely high speeds.

A third Sonic film is in the works.

The new series will premiere on Paramount+ in the UK on April 27.