The Magic Roundabout (U) preview

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor One of the most affectionately remembered cultural icons of the Sixties is brought to the big screen in previews this weekend.

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor

One of the most affectionately remembered cultural icons of the Sixties is brought to the big screen in previews this weekend.

No, not Twiggy, the Beatles or even Funny Faces ice creams but children's series The Magic Roundabout.

We say children's series, but there's no doubt its just-before-the-teatime-news slot and slyly witty scripts and narration by Eric Thompson (father of Emma) made this a huge cult favourite across the generations.

Now, at last, it's been brought to the big screen (well, not counting the very strange and rather dark feature-length Dougal and the Blue Cat from 1970). The original animation has been updated to CGI, and there are a host of celeb voices to replace the late Mr Thompson but – happily – first indications are that the script has managed to keep the warmth and wit of the original.

The story tells how Dougal (Robbie Williams) inadvertently helps the nasty Zeebad (Tom Baker) escape prison, prompting a desperate mission from Dougal, Ermintrude (Joanna Lumley), Brian (Jim Broadbent) and Dylan (Bill Nighy – perfect casting, surely) to save the world.

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Other eye-catching casting includes Kylie Minogue as Florence and Ganda… sorry, Ian McKellen as Zebedee (“You have travelled far across Middle Earth, young snail…”).

One for parents and under-eights to watch before it's time for bed.

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