CHILDREN'S character Fireman Sam has moved house in a deal worth up to £1.6m.

Media firm Gullane Entertainment - home to children's classics Sooty and Thomas the Tank Engine - has bought a 50 per cent stake in the rights to Fireman Sam from S4C International, the commercial arm of Welsh broadcaster S4C.

Southampton-based Gullane and S4C will form a joint venture in relation to the character, which has been a regular star of the BBC's children's schedules for the past 15 years.

The series is already broadcast across the world in a range of languages.

The deal will see the launch of a 26-part TV series, followed by a worldwide distribution, marketing and licensing programme.