MICHAEL PALIN CONFIRMED AS NARRATOR FOR NEW CLANGERS
BBC, Coolabi Group, Smallfilms and Sprout co-
production set to air Spring 2015
07 September 2014. Award-winning actor, writer, presenter and comedian Michael Palin has been confirmed as narrator for the much-anticipated new Clangers series (52 x 11’) – a contemporary version of the British classic animated television show. The new series is being co-produced by CBeebies, Coolabi Group, Smallfilms and Sprout, and will air in the UK in Spring 2015.
Michael Palin is best-known for being one of the members of the comedy legends Monty Python and for his ground-breaking travel documentaries. Of his role in the new Clangers series, he said: “The world of the Clangers is delightful and irresistible. It's a real pleasure and a great privilege to be a part of its return to television.”
The Clangers marks the multi-award winning entertainer’s first foray into children’s animation,
having previously authored a collection of children’s books. His humour, insight and warmth have
made him a firm favourite both in the UK and abroad and he is now turning his talents to yet
another sphere, observing and commenting on the charming, surprising and wonderful activities
of the Clangers.
Palin takes up the mantle from the late Oliver Postgate, creator and narrator of the original series,
who is often cited alongside original Clangers’ co-creator, Peter Firmin, as one of the founding
fathers of UK animation.
Oliver’s son, Daniel Postgate, who will be executive producing the new series alongside Peter
Firmin, commented: “Michael Palin was my first and favourite choice, so of course I'm absolutely
delighted. Among other things, he's been a warm and charming guide for us all in his extensive
travels around this world, so it seems wonderfully appropriate that he should pack his bags once
more, go off across the starry expanse of space and do the same for the world of the Clangers."
Peter Firmin said: "As an old stick-in-the-mud I don't often change my mind and from the very
beginning I wished and hoped that Michael Palin would agree to be our narrator. Once in a blue
moon wishes come true. This is once in a blue moon. I hope Michael enjoys his voyage to our
little Blue Planet."
Kay Benbow, Controller of CBeebies, said: “It’s incredibly exciting to be bringing the Clangers
back onto the screen for our young audience to enjoy, and to have Michael Palin involved really
is the icing on the cake. He’s such an iconic entertainer and will bring a wonderful warmth to the
Clangers stories as he takes CBeebies viewers on out-of-this-world adventures. We’re really
excited that he’s agreed to be involved."
Jeremy Banks, CEO, Coolabi Group, also commented: “Michael Palin is a wonderful entertainer
and someone who is part of the fabric of British television. The narrator is such a crucial element
of the show and we know he will be an engaging and insightful observer of the Clangers - the
perfect companion to audiences watching from Earth.”
The Clangers originally launched on the BBC in 1969 and are pink, long-nosed, inventive and
loveable mouse-shaped creatures who live on a small blue planet, out in the starry stretches of
space, not far from Earth. Its surface is peppered with holes topped with metal dustbin lids, which
flip open with a ‘Clang!’ to reveal steps down to their home beneath the surface of the planet
- containing a series of interconnecting tunnels and caves. Kind and generous creatures, they
communicate with distinctive whistles and a narrator comments on the thrilling and often hilarious
events which occur in every episode.
The Clangers are a family. The cast of characters consists of Major, Mother, Small (a boy), Tiny
(a girl) and Granny. Other favourites returning to the new version are the Soup Dragon, The Iron
Chicken, the Sky Moos, the Glow Buzzers and the mischievous Froglets. These and many other
peculiar creatures, create a warm and harmonious world of fun, imagination, exploration and
The new series is produced in stop motion animation by specialists Factory Transmedia (Strange
Hill High, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion), and award-winning puppet makers, Mackinnon and Saunders
(Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride, Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox, Mars Attacks). Peter Firmin and
Daniel Postgate are actively involved in the new series as executive producers. Firmin is also part
of the design process and Postgate is writing storylines and scripts.
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