Olivia Colman has said she was “thrilled” to be asked to narrate BBC’s new animated production Superworm as she is a fan of the children’s book.
The half-hour film will be the latest adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s popular books, following on from the likes of The Gruffalo, The Highway Rat and most recently, Zog And The Flying Doctors.
Oscar-winner Colman, 47, is joined by a star-studded cast of voice actors, including Matt Smith who will portray Superworm.
Colman said: “I was excited to do the narrator bit because I love all these books.
“I’ve read the Julia Donaldson books to my children over the years and I love watching them when they’re on the telly. I was thrilled that they asked me.”
The actress, who previously starred as the Queen in The Crown, noted that she loved the poetry of Donaldson’s books and also found the characters to be “so cute”.
She said had fond memories of reading the books and watching the film adaptations with her children, adding: “They’re just lovely films and which represent that time of year when you can all be cosy and at home and watch something with lovely poetry.
“Kids love it, I mean my kids are sort of a bit big now, but I still love the films.”
A first-look image of the new animated film shows Superworm as a friendly cartoon worm in amongst grass and flowers showing off his strength by holding a rock above its head.
Colman described the character as an “heroic worm”, noting: “His mission in life is to help his little critter chums.”
The story follows a baby worm and a caterpillar, who later on transforms into a butterfly, as they strive to be fit and healthy by exercising together.
Whilst exercising, the worm becomes very strong and ends up as Superworm, who is the local hero as he comes to the rescue of his fellow creatures when they get into trouble, with the assistance of Butterfly.
The voice cast will also include Sex Education actress Patricia Allison as Butterfly, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith as the nemesis Wizard Lizard and Rob Brydon as the Crow, who acts as the Lizard’s servant.
Colman admitted she kept giggling while listening to Smith and Brydon act out the voices of Superworm and the Crow and noted the process for voice acting was to “try not to be embarrassed”.
She added: “These incredibly talented artists have spent two years working away at these beautiful, exquisite drawings and then the actor comes in at the end and tries to do their beautiful work justice, so the narrator’s actually the easiest bit.”
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Superworm will be on BBC One at Christmas.