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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 December, 2004, 12:37 GMT
Mr Benn returns after 35-year gap
Mr Benn
Mr Benn will travel to ancient Rome to see the gladiators
Children's favourite Mr Benn is making a return to TV with his first new adventure in 35 years.

Creator David McKee was inspired to write another tale for the bowler-hatted character after watching the blockbuster Gladiator.

Only 13 episodes of Mr Benn were ever made but they have often been repeated since they first went out in the 1970s.

The new episode will be shown on children's channel Nick Jr on New Year's Day.

Ray Brooks will once again narrate the story, based on Mr Mckee's latest book which sees Mr Benn travel to ancient Rome through the fancy dress shop "as if by magic".

Mr McKee said: "It's hard to believe that the first Mr Benn films were broadcast in 1970. I still get a lot of letters from fans asking when I'm going to write a new story.

Mr Benn
Mr Benn travels to different worlds through the magic shop
"It was wonderful working on Gladiator - just like visiting an old friend.

"We've kept the style much the same but of course the technology is very different now. In fact the original films were made in a garden shed in Surbiton."

The creator is plotting more stories for Mr Benn and plans are still afoot for a feature film.

"I'm looking forward to new adventures for Mr Benn in the future," said Mr McKee.

Big News Network Brit cartoon hero runs with the lions - 31 hrs ago
Guardian Unlimited Mr Benn returns after 34-year gap - 31 hrs ago
The Scotsman As if by magic, children's favourite Mr Benn reappears - 32 hrs ago
UTV Internet Mr Benn reappears - 40 hrs ago
Sky News Kids' Favourite Returns - 41 hrs ago
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