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Fireman Sam returns to the BBC

Welsh animation outfit Siriol is producing a new series of the 1980s kids toon Fireman Sam for Hit Entertainment, with the show destined for the BBC and Welsh network S4C.

The toon launched back in 1986 on the BBC and S4C and was originally produced by Bumper Films of Weston-Super-Mare in the west of England. Production on the fifth series of Fireman Sam was signed over to Siriol by the show's former owner, Gullane Entertainment.

After Gullane was acquired by Hit over the summer, rights to the Fireman Sam characters went to Hit as part of the deal. However, Entertainment Rights-owned Siriol is still producing the series despite Hit having its own stop-frame studio, Hot Animation.

Siriol's managing director Robin Lyons told C21 that after working on Hilltop Hospital with France's Folimage, Siriol has learned enough about the stop-frame to set up a studio dedicated to the technique.

He added: {The new Fireman Sam, back after all these years, is a product of evolution rather than revolution. There will be more tools in his belt and the fire engines will be more sophisticated. But we are remaining true to the original style.{

A series of 26×10' episodes are in production along with additional Christmas-themed episodes. The series is due to broadcast in 2004 on CBBC and S4C.

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