The Minions have delivered a public health announcement aimed at children, with tips on social distancing and activities during lockdown.

Steve Carell has reprised his role as former supervillain Gru for the animated short for the World Health Organisation, as he is joined by the bright yellow creatures from the Despicable Me films to offer advice on keeping fit, trying new activities and being kind to each other.

Gru can be seen spraying someone who comes too close with a gardening hose, saying: “I’m sorry, I did not see you there. Or there.”

He also shows off his dance moves and whips up a dinner of gummy bears and meat.

As he bandages up one of the Minions in the film, created by film studio Illumination, he adds: “This does not come naturally to me but try to be kind to each other, this is a tough time for everyone.

“So that’s it, stay home, stay healthy and remember we are all in this together. But totally separate, you know what I mean.”

The film also encourages people to donate to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Dr Tedros Adhanom, director-general of the World Health Organisation, said: “At this challenging time, we must find all ways possible to provide hope to people while sharing advice that can protect our health.

“WHO is excited to be working with Illumination and Steve Carell and the joys of the Minions and Gru to promote the importance of physical distancing, keeping active and connected, and being kind and compassionate to overcome Covid-19.”

Chris Meledandri, Illumination founder and CEO, added: “Storytelling is a powerful tool to accelerate positive social change in the world.

“It is an honour to partner with the WHO and UN Foundation to remind people around the globe to protect themselves, each other and our communities during this pandemic.”