The Snowman set for anniversary sequel on Channel 4

The Snowman The Snowman has become a seasonal staple since making its TV debut three decades ago

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A sequel to classic animated short The Snowman is to be produced by Channel 4 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the original's 1982 broadcast.

The Snowman 2 - described as "a brand new adventure" featuring Raymond Briggs's character and "a new set of friends" - will air next Christmas.

London-based animation company Lupus Films told The Guardian it would be "new and fresh [and] not identical".

The original film was nominated for an Academy Award in 1983.

"The Snowman is an entrancing animation that has stood the test of time," said Jay Hunt, Channel 4's chief creative officer.

"I'm thrilled that Raymond will be giving us this sequel which I'm sure will be as delightful and unforgettable as the original."

Briggs will not be writing the script himself, which will be penned by two of the animators who worked on the first film.

But a Channel 4 spokeswoman said the pair were "close to Raymond and consulted with him throughout development".

"He has an official role as consultant on the film and will be fully involved with all stages of the creative process," she told the BBC News website.

The new version will reportedly not include Walking in the Air, the haunting song used to accompany scenes of the Snowman, and the boy who made him, flying over England.

It is also said to involve a new boy, a "snow dog" and such modern landmarks as the London Eye.

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