Classic children’s story The Snowman returns to television screens this morning as families across the country celebrate the festive season.

The Channel 4 film, which has been broadcast every Christmas since 1982, follows the story of a little boy who embarks upon a magical adventure with a snowman he created in his garden.

The Bafta Award-winning animated short is based on a picture book of the same name by author Raymond Briggs, who died earlier this year.

Eagle-eyed viewers will spot that the boy’s home appears to be somewhere in the South Downs, close to where Raymond Briggs and the film’s composer, Howard Blake, both lived.

During a scene where the boy and The Snowman fly through the air, the pair can be seen passing over field after field of the national park, before flying past a snow-capped Royal Pavilion and the Palace Pier.

The film’s original introduction featured Raymond Briggs walking through a field and describing his inspiration for the picture book.

He said: “I remember that winter because it had brought the heaviest snow I had ever seen. Snow had fallen steadily all night long and, in the morning, I woke in a room filled with light and silence, the whole world seemed to be held in a dream-like stillness.

“It was a magical day, and it was on that day I made The Snowman.”

A sequel to the film, The Snowman And The Snowdog, was released in 2012 and will also be broadcast later this morning.

The film, created to mark the 30th anniversary of the original, sees The Snowman, accompanied by a four-legged friend, go on a magical adventure with another boy, Billy. The trio fly over London to visit an annual snowman party, entering a race against other snowmen and a skiing penguin.

The Snowdog was featured as part of a public art trail across Brighton and Hove in 2016, raising £337,000 for Martlets Hospice.

The Snowman will be shown on Channel 4 at 11.25am, followed by The Snowman And The Snowdog at 11.55am.