Ricky Gervais' popular podcasts helped put the audio format on the map with well over 180 million downloads through legal channels alone.

In the States, HBO has made the podcasts into an animated series which Channel 4 has just acquired the rights to.

The shows, that feature cartoon versions of Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington will debut in the States in February with a March launch here in the UK.

Of the series (a clip of which is shown above) Gervais said: "Channel 4, like HBO in the US, is the perfect home for this show, as they acquire innovative, cutting edge programmes such as 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and 'The Sopranos'. Like 'The Sopranos', Channel 4 made me an offer I couldn't refuse".