The Wombles are set to make a major comeback on both the small and big screen.
The comeback is being spearheaded by Mike Batt, the songwriter behind The Wombles pop group. Writing on his website, Batt announced that his company Dramatico has acquired a majority stake in Wombles Copyright Holdings Ltd – having previously split ownership 50:50 with the estate of Elisabeth Beresford, the late author who created the pointy-nosed creatures.
“This announcement can only be a teaser I’m afraid, regarding planned activity and probable project partners. Suffice to say we have plans for two new 26-part TV series, a feature length movie and an interactive online ‘Wombles World’ experience,” he wrote.
Continuing, Batt went on to explain: “We think the Wombles characters are timeless, funny and loveable, and we can assure the Beresford Estate (son and daughter Marcus and Kate et al) that we shall protect and look after the quality and integrity of the characters as we always have done. We think there are audiences of new children and international audiences who missed The Wombles the first time around [who] will be thrilled to see the brilliant high quality animations and new musical productions we shall be mounting.”
The Wombles last surfaced in 2011 for a well-received set at Glastonbury Festival. The litter-conscious critters originally appeared in a series of children’s novels by Beresford before becoming the stars of a classic 1970s TV series narrated by Bernard Cribbins. A string of hit singles written by Batt would follow including ‘Remember You’re A Womble’ and ‘The Wombling Song’.
Over the last decade, Batt has been heavily involved in the career of singer-songwriter Katie Melua. In addition to Melua’s LPs, Batt’s label Dramatico has released albums by Marianne Faithfull, Caro Emerald and Carla Bruni in recent years.