Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Monday, 17 November 2008

Noddy returning for 60th birthday

Sophie Smallwood and illustrator Robert Tyndall with Noddy
Sophie Smallwood and illustrator Robert Tyndall with Noddy

A new Noddy book is to be written by Enid Blyton's granddaughter to mark the character's 60th birthday.

The new book, which will also feature Noddy's friends including Big Ears and Mr Plod the policeman, will be the first to appear since 1963.

It will be illustrated by Robert Tyndall, who has drawn the much-loved characters since 1953.

Sophie Smallwood said it was "a great honour, if a little daunting", to take over from her famous grandmother.

'Fond memories'

"In Noddy she created such a wonderful character, a character who has been loved by children for many generations.

"I can think of no better way to celebrate Noddy's 60th birthday and to pay tribute to my grandmother's marvellous achievements," added Ms Smallwood.

Enid Blyton in 1949
Enid Blyton lived from 1897 to 1968

Illustrator Mr Tyndall said he was "delighted" to be able to draw him again, adding that he had "fond memories" of working with Blyton.

Jeff Norton, a director at Chorion, which owns Blyton's literary estate, said the collaboration between the pair was "so exciting".

It would create a book to be enjoyed by Noddy fans both young and old, he added.

Several television series of Noddy's adventures have been made, with the first airing in 1955.

Other events planned to mark the character's birthday include an art exhibition and a live stage show.

Blyton has sold around 400 million copies of her books around the world, and is rated as the sixth most popular author.

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