Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick Entertainment (CHFE), the company behind the reborn animation company Cosgrove Hall, has appointed the veteran actor Sir David Jason to its board as it continues to seek up to £2m in equity finance to develop new productions.

Adrian Wilkins

Adrian Wilkins

CHFE was established in March 2011 by the current chief executive Adrian Wilkins and Simon Hall, the son of Mark Hall, the co-founder of Cosgrove Hall.

Cosgrove Hall built up an international reputation on the back of numerous celebrated children’s TV characters including Dangermouse and Count Duckula and also produced a number of award-winning productions for others including Wind in the Willows.

ITV bought the company, which was based in Chorlton, south Manchester, but after a steady period of decline, the broadcaster closed Cosgrove Hall in 2009.

CHFE, which is based in London with a further office in New York, is currently trying to raise £2m to enable the company to go into production of a new 52 episode cartoon called Pip! which has been commissioned by Channel 5.

Sir David Jason, who voiced Dangermouse and Wind in the Willows, has now agreed to join CHFE as a non-executive director.

Once the finance has been raised, CHFE is anticipating creating up to 75 jobs in Manchester.

Adrian Wilkins said: “To be a part of such a terrific animation series in the early stages is really very exciting and also very unusual.

Sir David Jason

Sir David Jason

“We believe Pip! is an incredibly strong concept, which could potentially be as big as Peppa Pig or Bob the Builder. There is a huge market out there for merchandising, which is great for investors because they will get a slice of everything that Pip! Makes.”

Sir David Jason added: “When I first heard Brian Cosgrove and Simon Hall were joining forces with Francis Fitzpatrick to establish a new, vibrant and imaginative animation group CHF, I knew we could expect some wonderful and exciting new characters to emerge.

“I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to be the voice of Skipper and I am now looking forward to seeing Pip! and its wonderful cast of characters come to life and capture the hearts of families across the UK and beyond.”