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Monday, 17 July, 2000, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Womble honour for Queen Mother
Mike Batt and the Wombles
Attention: Mike Batt gets ready for the big day
The Queen Mother is to get an unusual 100th birthday present - a guard of honour from the Wombles.

Mike Batt, who transformed Elizabeth Beresford's characters into pop stars in the 1970s, has assembled the guard for the Queen Mother's birthday parade in London on Wednesday.

It consists of 13 Wombles in specially-made Guards uniforms, complete with bearskins.

Three years ago he composed a mass band tribute to celebrate the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh's 50th wedding anniversary.

Wombles
The Wombles will follow the military parade
"It's taken my mum six weeks to make the costumes," he said.

"About two months ago we were asked for the Wombles and when I suggested a guard of honour they agreed."

Batt wrote, produced and sung for the Wombles pop group, which had eight hit singles in the 1970s.

However, fans hoping to see characters from their heyday will have to look hard as most of the Wombles have been newly made.

But Great Uncle Bulgaria and Madame Cholet will follow the cavalcade in a London bus.

"Uncle Bulgaria is very happy because that appeals to his sense of discipline and good order, and it will show the younger Wombles how to behave," Batt said.

Despite the Guards uniform, he added, the Wombles remain "pacifists", involved in peaceful pageantry as a tribute to the Queen Mother.

See also:

17 May 99 | Entertainment
Made in the 70s, still going strong
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