Star Trek’s George Takei joins the pre-school universe

By Sherna Noah, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Star Trek’s George Takei is boldly joining the pre-school universe.

The actor, 82, best known for his role as Sulu in the 1960s space series, will voice a panda in Love Monster.

The animated series will air on CBeebies from January.

The US star said: “Love Monster celebrates inclusive behaviour and collaboration and that’s also very much my philosophy – we find strength, joy and vitality in diversity coming together.

“I never imagined myself being a panda but I’ve always enjoyed seeing them, especially the young cubs because they’re so cute!

Tamsin Greig (Isabel Infantes/PA)

“Elder Panda is just an older version of them and is still whimsical, fun-loving and life embracing – I suppose it’s a reflection of my standing in human life!”

Episodes actress Tamsin Greig has also signed up for the series, based on the best-selling Love Monster books by British author and illustrator Rachel Bright.

The show is designed to highlight kindness, empathy, connection and instinct, with Love Monster being the only monster in Fluffytown, a world of cute baby animals.

Greig, who is the Narrator, said: “The series shows that by embracing our differences and helping each other, we can make things better for everyone, a particularly valuable lesson for children in today’s world.”

Actor, comedian and Beatbox artist Darren Foreman will voice Love Monster while Miranda star Sarah Hadland is also among the voice cast.