He’s gone from Downton Abbey to Paddington Bear, and now star Hugh Bonneville is set to appear in another classic children’s story, Thomas the Tank Engine.
The actor will voice new engine Merlin in the upcoming feature film Thomas & Friends: Journey Beyond Sodor, joining a long line of Tank Engine stars including Ringo Starr, Eddie Redmayne, Alec Baldwin and Olivia Colman.
Original sketches for Hugh Bonneville’s character Merlin
“I am delighted to be involved in the latest Thomas & Friends movie,” he said. “Like so many others I enjoyed the books when I was young, so it’s a real honor to be voicing a new character, Merlin. To play an engine in one of Thomas’s adventures is a big thrill for a little boy in a grown-up body!”
Check out a behind the scenes clip of Bonneville recording his voice below.
The film will hit UK cinemas on Friday 25th August, 72 years on from the publication of the very first Thomas the Tank Engine book on 12 May 1945.
Watch the trailer below.