“Time for bed” said Zebulon

Politics and Culture says the strapline, so here goes… Le Manège Enchanté, that’s “The Magic Roundabout” to you and me, is set for a revival. First broadcast in France in 1964, and twice turned down by the BBC as “charming but too ‘weird'”, the show went on to become first a cult success, then an daily institution for adults and children around the world.. and now a £12.8million feature film. The Guardian carries an interview with creator Serge Danot’s widow, as well as lots of background info for obsessive fans.Interesting factoids:

Original characters were named Zebulon, Margotte, Pollux, Flappy, Ambroise and Azalee.

Dougal, then named Pollux, was an unexpected star and was quickly given a bigger role in the show, with a heavy English accent – much to the amusement of the first, French, viewers.

Originally commissioned for 13 programmes, Danot eventually made around 700 and Le Manége Enchanté was translated into 28 languages worldwide, including Iranian and Japanese.

Serge Danot died in 1990, two months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, leaving his widow to complete the final commission for 120 programmes, despite having never seen a whole episode.

And now the bad news.

The film version will introduce a new character, the imaginative named Zebadie, and will feature the vocal talents of, among others, Ian McKellen, Joanna Lumley, Kylie Minogue(?) and Robbie Williams(!?!).

Time for bed indeed.