JOHNNY Vegas has teamed up with actor Richard E Grant to bring the books of the Wombles to life on radio over Christmas.

Demonstrating another of the many strings to his bow, Johnny, from Thatto Heath, has directed six episodes for Radio 4 which are based on the original books by Elisabeth Beresford.

Described as a "joyful festive listen" they are performed by Richard E Grant.

A statement promoting the series of shows, which are also available on BBC Sounds, read: "Full of fun and warmth, with an underpinning environmental message – The Wombles books are full of stories of friendship, family and making a real difference.

St Helens Star: The Wombles will be on BBC Radio 4The Wombles will be on BBC Radio 4 (Image: BBC)

"Radio 4 and BBC Sounds celebrate these much loved classic characters, marking 50 years since The Wombles first appeared on the BBC."

The book The Wombles will also be going out on Radio 4 over Christmas, starting on Christmas Day.

Who are The Wombles?

The Wombles are fictional, furry creatures who were created by author Elisabeth Beresford.

They originally appeared in a series of children's novels from 1968.

The fictional Wombles live in burrows, with Beresford's stories concerned with the lives of the inhabitants of the burrow on Wimbledon Common in London.

The characters became well-known in the UK from the mid-1970s as they became part of an animated BBC children's television show.