Children’s cartoon hero SuperTed is set to return to British TV screens after its creator revealed plans for a new series.
Animator Mike Young said the flying crimefighting bear should be back after 30 years before the end of the year.
The hit show was initially written in Welsh and shown on S4C, but was soon translated into English and ran for several years on the BBC in the 1980s.
Mr Young, 70, has been in talks with the original team about SuperTed’s return for two years, but said the comeback is closer than ever.
He said: “We hope it will be back in production this year.”
But he has previously admitted that SuperTed and his rivals Texas Pete, Bulk and Skeleton may have to change their ways to fit in with the expectations of a modern audience.
Mr Young said: “In SuperTed, we had a gun-slinging cowboy, a flamboyantly gay skeleton and a fat guy who had jokes made about his weight.
“And all these things you just wouldn’t do today. But you can still write the show in a funny, entertaining way.”
The original ran from 1983-85 with Derek Griffiths voicing SuperTed. Texas Pete (Victor Spinetti) was the evil cowboy villain, abetted by a camp and cowardly skeleton (Melvyn Hayes) and a chubby dimwit called Bulk (Roy Kinnear).
But that was a different era, and the villains in the new cartoon will be different.
Young previously told Radio Times that children’s television has changed a great deal since the 1980s.
“Popeye used to smash people in the face. And it was very funny. But of course there is no television network anywhere in the world that would let you do that now,” he said.
Young is confident, however, that “you can still write the show in a funny, entertaining way”. And he said the company would “definitely be talking to Melvyn and Derek” about reprising their voice roles.
Kinnear died in 1988 and Spinetti in 2012. Jon Pertwee, who voiced SuperTed’s sidekick, Spotty, died in 1996.