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The Galleon group announces first flash animation project


Media Group Builds IPR Portfolio With A New Children’s Character From
The Creator Of Fireman Sam, Rob Lee



West Midlands, January 7th: The Galleon Group plc (Galleon or the Group), a cross-media company with interests in animation, media production, database marketing, software publishing, public relations, trade journal production and graphic design, today announces that it has acquired 50 per cent of the rights to PC Pepper, a new children’s animation concept by Rob Lee, co-creator of the immensely popular Fireman Sam character. Under the terms of the agreement, Galleon will control all of the merchandising and marketing of the property including the production and sale of the series to television stations around the world. A promotional trailer for the TV series is being created using Macromedia’s Flash software by a London-based New Media and Animation company, Lightmaker.



In return for its 50 per cent interest, the Group will use its resources to develop the concept.



“I am delighted to announce Galleon’s first acquisition of a cartoon character property, PC Pepper,” says Jim Driscoll MBE, Chairman of The Galleon Group. “I have worked closely with Rob Lee on the international best selling children’s TV property The Shoe People where he developed the characters. The success of Fireman Sam further strengthened his reputation as a creator, illustrator and writer and I am confident that PC Pepper will become an international success.”



“Lightmaker is very excited to be involved in the development of the PC Pepper property,” adds Bryan Sayle of Lightmaker. “Using six years of Macromedia Flash development experience, Lightmaker was able to build the first version of the PC Pepper pilot episode within a ten day studio allocation. Using the assets available, the development team for PC Pepper has been able to deliver the pilot in record time, enabling the piece for broadcast television, web, and Personal Digital Assistants running the Microsoft WindowsCE software. We’re really excited about the future of the property.”



PC Pepper is based around the exploits of a likeable local Bobby stationed on August Island. His daily duties involve helping the locals get out of spots of bother. The action takes place over a number of settings including Crab Cove, Herring Harbour and Oyster Bay. PC Pepper is joined in his adventures by friends including Dr Bridget Brideswell (a flying doctor with a penchant for exotic plants) and Noah McCloud.



“PC Pepper is a likeable character that children can easily identify with,” believes Rob Lee, the characters’ creator. “One of the first professions that young children can understand and relate to is that of a Policeman and, in a similar way to Fireman Sam, PC Pepper will hopefully have that same appeal, especially when children see all the different adventures he has. I am delighted to be working with Galleon and am looking forward to collaborating with Jim once again.”



PC Pepper joins Galleon’s growing portfolio of animated children’s properties which includes the 3D computer series Astro Knights.



Concludes Driscoll, “It is our intention to exploit the full potential of the PC Pepper property with a comprehensive merchandising and marketing programme to complement the TV series. The first real activity will take place in Las Vegas this January where the PC Pepper trailer will debut at a leading international TV trade show, NAPTE. I anticipate a great deal of interest from TV stations eager to buy the series and also licensors keen to sign up for PC Pepper product as we have already seen interest from a number of European broadcasters. Furthermore, this acquisition underlines our determination to build an IPR portfolio that will underpin the Group’s value.”



Notes to Editors:


· PC Pepper is a joint collaboration between Rob Lee and The Galleon Group. Lee will manage the character creation, storylines and scripting of the series, Galleon will control TV production and sales, licensing, publishing merchandising and the marketing of the property.


· Lee is co-creator of the Fireman Sam character as well as working on a range of TV projects including Super Ted, The Shoe People and Joshua Jones (currently airing on UK terrestrial TV). Driscoll was the creator of the internationally famous ‘Shoe People’ cartoon series and licensed property.


· The series will be created using Flash Animation, Macromedia’s leading software package. This will enable transfer of actual TV footage to video games, Internet and Internet TV applications. This is envisaged to be of particular interest to licensees operating in the interactive education sector.



About The Galleon Group


The Galleon Group is a content provider across platforms in multimedia broadcast and interactive software. The Group strategy is to build, acquire and own a significant intellectual property rights portfolio. The Group combines a number of companies that already generate turnover and profit. The Group owns companies with intellectual property rights in software, animation and new media. The Galleon Group plc is the holding company of Synthetic Dimensions plc - comprising, Astro Knights Ltd, Probe Media Ltd, Redeye PR Ltd, Meta4 Design Ltd and A4 Holdings plc, and also an equity interest in two other companies.



Pictures are available on-line at: http://www.lightmaker.com/clientsites you will then be asked for a username (press) and a password (release)


For more information regarding PC Pepper including pictures, sample story boards etc. then please contact:


James Driscoll
Chairman
Galleon Group Plc
T: +44(0) 1384 440 591
F: +44 (0) 1384 440 582
E: james.driscoll@galleonplc.com



Paul Wooding
RedEye Public Relations
T: +44(0) 775 367 8326
E: paul@redeyepr.com
W: http://www.redeyepr.com


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