CULTURAL indiscretions aside, it feels a very good time to be a Roald Dahl fan. Lovers of all things whizzpopping haven’t far too look at all for their next scrum-diddly-umptious feast.

While Dahl’s original works continue to enjoy an enviably prominent placing on bookshelves up and down the country - boosted by colourful covers and those iconic Quentin Blake illustrations - adaptations litter the Zeitgeist.

Certainly, no fewer than three Dahl inspired musicals currently play on stages across the UK alone - two in London, one on tour - while there’s not a streaming service out there that can’t boast at least one of his stories in film or televisual form.

This week, prepare to be transported back to a world of pure imagination as Wonka joins their hallowed ranks. Fear not, the film is every bit the Christmas treat you were hoping it would be.

Of course, that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Wonka lands lovingly delivered from the makers of Paddington and its pitch-perfect sequel Paddington 2.

Paul King and Simon Farnaby, writers of the latter, are behind the script for Wonka, while David Heyman - of Harry Potter renown - is their producer. Esteemed company indeed.

Little Women and Dune star Timothée Chalamet, who is also the first sole male to grace a cover of British Vogue, leads here as a young Willy Wonka. The film opens many years before the adventures of Charlie Bucket and tells an origins tale for how Willy became Wonka and how Wonka came to create his legendary chocolate factory.

An ensemble cast boasts more confectionery treats than a tin of Quality Street, with roles for Olivia Coleman, Matt Lucas, Patterson Joseph, Sally Hawkins, Rowan Atkinson and many more. The very cherry atop this casting cake, however, is Hugh Grant. He plays an Oompa-Loompa called Lofty. Need one say more?

As is often the case in Dahl adaptations, Wonka offers more palatable - less unnerving - material than that provided by the original texts. Rarely do Dahl’s darker inclinations make the shooting script.

Chalamet is, as such, a softer and more irrefutably likeable Willy than was Gene Wilder. That’s not to say he hasn’t charisma. He has ample. Wonka is a feature that feasts on the energy its cast brings to play.

It’s hard to imagine a better film to enjoy with a steaming mug of hot chocolate at the cinema this Christmas.