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BBC children's series Friends and Heroes translated into Manx

Friends and Heroes, the award-winning BBC TV children's series featuring timeless Bible stories, is to be the first ever animated programme in the Manx language ...

Friends and Heroes, or Caarjyn as Fenee, as they’d say in Manx Gaelic (Gaelg) is set in the first century AD and follows the adventures of two children, Macky and Portia.

As they engage in countless escapades and fight for justice across the Roman world, they share the timeless stories of the Bible and learn lessons that help them through many trials and tribulations. Each episode uses a combination of traditional hand-drawn and stunning computer-generated animation to bring the stories to life.

As reported today on the BBC the native language of the Isle of Man, declared extinct by Unesco in the 1990s, is now undergoing an extraordinary revival.

First shown on BBC TV in 2007, Friends and Heroes is now available in 11 language versions including: Arabic; Chinese (Mandarin); English; French; German; Hindi/Urdu; Italian; Korean; Portuguese (Brazilian); Russian and Spanish (South American), with Manx Gaelic to be launched this Spring.

Every school on the Isle of Man will be given a complete series set, subsidised by AFD Software – the production company, to help them in learning the language.

“This news is ‘Yindyssagh erskyn towse’ – fantastic above all measure – and is a real breakthrough for Manx Gaelic (Gaelg),” said Adrian Cain, Manx Language Officer for the Manx Heritage Foundation.

“Each programme will feature a full Manx soundtrack as well as English and Manx sub-titles, making a fantastic teaching and learning resource, and helping give Manx Gaelic a much higher profile both on the island and internationally.”

David Dorricott, MD of the production company said: "The AFD group has thrived since moving to Ramsey, Isle of Man in 1997 – and our staff have enjoyed the superb quality of life here. The Celtic roots of this Island Nation go back many centuries, and they are interwoven with the Celtic Christianity of the Irish and Scottish Celtic saints.

"When the opportunity arose to make a Manx translation of the Friends and Heroes Children's animation series, which we first produced for the BBC, we were simply delighted. Not only will this provide the very first children’s animation series in the Manx Language; the entertaining adventures of Macky and Portia and their friends also bring the Bible stories, so important to Celtic culture, into 21st century life.”

To see the first half episode of Friends and Heroes in Manx click the YouTube video above, and go to for more details.

Images © Friends & Heroes Productions Ltd

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