Octogenarian children's favourite RUPERT THE BEAR is returning to TV after a 15 year absence.

The lovable bear, recognisable by his red jumper and matching yellow checked trousers and scarf, will return to the small screen after British firm Entertainment Rights (ER) bought the rights off Express Newspapers.

Rupert first appeared as a comic strip in Britain's Daily Express newspaper in 1920 and has appeared in a series of annuals, which have sold over 50 million copies internationally.

While ER plan to keep 85-year-old Rupert in his uniform, his boots will be replaced with funky red trainers and he will look curvier than before.

ER chief executive Mike Heap enthuses, "Whilst Rupert will retain his distinctive look and character, and will maintain his existing friendships, he will be joined in Nutwood by a brand new cast of characters."