Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Muppets creator Jim Henson Company distributes Northern Ireland animation Driftwood Bay around the world

First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness met Sixteen South creative director Colin Williams and Orlagh O'Keefe, who voices Driftwood Bay's main character, Lily

An award-winning Northern Ireland TV production company has unveiled its latest animation, to be aired on screens across the world.

The £2.5m Driftwood Bay was launched at Belfast-based Sixteen South by First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness.

The ministers paid tribute to the company studios for its latest creation, which follows previous Emmy and Bafta-nominated children's programmes.

Sixteen South has developed a number of hit shows in partnership with other global children's entertainment companies since it was established in 2008.

Driftwood Bay, which has been pre-sold to countries including the US, UK, Republic, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Israel, is being distributed globally by the Jim Henson Company, creator of The Muppets.

Sixteen South has retained 75 people to work on Driftwood Bay over an 18-month period. Its last production, 'Pajanimals' was produced and filmed in Belfast and airs in over 300m homes globally.

Creative director Colin Williams paid tribute to the "brilliant team" behind the new show.

"We're committed to providing exciting job opportunities and believe it's our passion and love for what we do that has positioned ourselves in key markets allowing us to deliver multi-award winning projects," he said.

First Minister Peter Robinson praised the company as "a talented, highly driven, and innovative company working with ease alongside major global names in children's entertainment".