Much-loved woollen aliens The Clangers are to make a return to TV with a set of new shows, four decades after the series ended.
The pink-snouted creatures, who spoke with whistling sounds, will make a comeback, along with the soup dragon, the froglets and the iron chicken, in a £5 million production to be screened by CBeebies.
The characters, who live on a crater-covered planet lying “across the vast endless stretched of outer space” from Earth, were first seen in 1969 and enchanted a generation of children, and parents.
The family of Clangers - made up of Major, Mother, Small, Tiny and Granny - were involved in a series of gentle adventures in the programmes which finished in 1974, but were repeated for many years.
Peter Firmin, who co-created the original series with the late Oliver Postgate through their company Smallfilms, is the executive producer of the series to be screened in 2015, along with Postgate’s son Daniel.
Firmin - who was also behind shows such as Bagpuss and Ivor The Engine - said: “We hope to engage and entertain children of all ages and their families, just as Oliver and I did all those years ago. The new series will include great storytelling with lots of heart. It will also be technically improved.
“When you watch the original Clangers you have to make allowances for the limitations of the animation techniques when it was made. It was magical for its time, but this is a new Clangers for a new age.”
The programmes are also to be screened by US pre-school network Sprout, and BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm, will distribute the show internationally.
Daniel Postgate said: “I’ve always loved Clangers. I was about five years old when it was made - just the right age. The new Clangers is not something we’ve rushed into.
“It has been carefully considered. For me, this is a labour of love.”
Kay Benbow, the controller of CBeebies, said: “Nostalgia is a funny thing, and we always think very carefully about remakes or re-imaginings of classic children’s programmes. The Clangers is a programme that has an enduring magic.
“The new proposition has been built firmly upon the joyful foundations of the original, and will be produced by a team of exceptional talent which includes the extraordinary Peter Firmin.”