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Friday, 10 August, 2001, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Wombles composer 'should recover'
Mike Batt and the Wombles
Batt - famous for his Womble songs
Wombles composer Mike Batt has been fitted with a neck brace after breaking his back in a car crash in Spain.

Batt, who is famous for penning Remember You're a Womble and The Wombling Song, is likely to be airlifted back to the UK on Monday.

The composer has been told he should make a full recovery - but will have to wear the brace for at least three months.

The accident, which took place on Wednesday morning, injured three other people who were travelling in the same car.

Batt brought together the classical Bond girls

Salima Williams, 23, an oboist in Batt's new band the Planets, suffered concussion, but has since returned to London with the rest of the band.

A cameraman was treated for a broken rib, while a Spanish production assistant who was driving was also taken to hospital in Madrid.

The group were travelling to a pop video shoot for the Planets, a classical fusion band.

The 150,000 production has since been postponed.

A spokeswoman for Batt's office said: "He wants to be back at work as soon as possible.

"He has not had surgery - the key for him is to keep the vertebrae still to allow them to re-fuse.

"That is why the brace has been fitted.

"He should recover fully, but that will be between three and six months and after that he will have to strengthen his muscles again."

Watership Down

Earlier, his spokeswoman spoke of his concern for the group: "He is concerned because the band are completing their album and beginning rehearsals for the Royal Festival Hall concert under his supervision."

Batt has had a long and distiguished musical career, but he is best known for his Wombles links.

He also penned the haunting theme tune Bright Eyes from the animated classic Watership Down.

Most recently he wrote the election theme song for the Conservative Party's election campaign.

Heartlands provided the musical backdrop to the unsuccessful Tory election efforts.

He has also been credited with bringing spice to the classical world after creating the female quartet Bond.

And the Wombles performed at the Queen Mother's 100th birthday celebrations last year.

See also:

07 May 01 | UK Politics
Wombles composer pens Tory poll hit
20 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Wizzard, it's the Wombles
17 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Womble honour for Queen Mother
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