The Magic Roundabout
Where are Florence, Dougal, Zebedee, Brian, Dylan and Ermintrude now?

Originally transmitted in French, "Le Manège Enchanté" was an animated TV program created by Serge Danot and first shown in 1964.
Each episode was only 5 minutes long and features over 7500 single images.
Eric Thompson, the late father of the actress Emma Thompson, watched the original episodes in French, then made up his own stories for an English version which was first shown on the BBC in 1965.
The main characters in the show were Dougal (a shaggy dog), Zebedee (a strange character on a spring), Dylan (a rabbit), Ermintrude (a pink cow), Florence (a young girl) and Brian (a snail).
The series became an immediate hit with 8 million viewers at its peak and it appealed to adults as well as children.
The manufacturers cashed in as the show was used to sell many things from custard to dog food.
Around 500 episodes of "The Magic Roundabout" were made in total, and although the French version finished in 1971, the UK version carried on for over 11 years on the BBC until the final episode was aired in 1977.

In 1972, a movie version of "The Magic Roundabout" was made called "Dougal And The Blue Cat". This was released on video in the 1990s.
Eric Thompson the original narator sadly died in 1982.
In the 1990s "The Magic Roundabout" was back when Channel 4 showed the series following the discovery of 39 episodes which hadn't been broadcast.
Nigel Planer, who is best known for playing Neil in "The Young Ones" was the new narrator.
A series of audio cassettes featuring Richard Wilson of "One Foot In The Grave" fame as narrator.
A movie inspired by the series was released in 2005 with state of the art computer animation. It featured an all star cast including Robbie Williams as Dougal, Kylie Minogue as Florence, Joanna Lumley as Ermintrude, Bill Nighly as Dylan, Jim Broadbent as Brian.
The movie also introduced some new characters ZeBadDee and Soldier Sam, vocied by Tom Baker and Ray Winstone.

Zebedee saying "Time for bed" at the end of each episode sending millions of children to sleep every evening.
Dougal's love of sugar.
The theme tune.
Zebedee always announcing his arrival with a 'boing'.

A boxed Magic Roundabout Playground set today can fetch up to £800!!
There is a roundabout aptly named "The Magic Roundabout" in Swindon in Wiltshire.
The series has now been translated into over 28 different languages and shown all over the world.

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