Page last updated at 09:43 GMT, Tuesday, 28 July 2009 10:43 UK

Cartoon Sali Mali joins Channel 4

Sali Mali
The series was originally made in 2000 for Welsh language broadcaster S4C

Welsh language cartoon character Sali Mali could soon have a new following of young fans as she is about to make her debut in English on Channel 4.

Cardiff-based programme makers Calon have signed a deal allowing the UK broadcaster to screen 52 episodes.

Based on Mary Vaughan Jones' books from the 1960s and 1970s and narrated by Rhys Ifans, she will appear in English.

The animation company said it was a significant deal and it hoped more of its Welsh programmes would follow.

Generations of Welsh children have grown up learning to read with the adventures of Sali Mali and her mischievous pet bird called Jack Daw.

We are delighted to be broadcasting such a charming series
Deborah Poulton, Channel 4 commissioning editor

The animated TV series is narrated by Hollywood actor Ifans while former Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews performs the title song.

Originally made in 2000 for Welsh language broadcaster, S4C, Sali Mali has been sold to 25 countries including Australia and Korea and is regularly shown on S4C's dedicated children's channel Cyw.

Calon's managing director Robin Lyons, said: "This is a significant deal for us.

"We hope this will be the first of many much-loved Welsh programmes which will go on to become equally loved by children in the rest of the UK.

"We have taken an iconic Welsh language children's character series and reversioned it for a UK-wide public service broadcaster."

The company has also sold the second series of the Bafta-winning S4C and Five pre-school children's series Hana's Helpline to German public broadcaster ZDF.

Offpeak commissioning editor for Channel 4, Deborah Poulton, said: "We are delighted to be broadcasting such a charming series. We are sure it will be as big a hit with kids in the rest of the UK as it is with children in Wales."

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