IT is the first original drama commissioned by Scotland's Gaelic television channel -and is broadcast in a language spoken by just tens of thousands of people in its native land.

Now Bannan, which will debut on BBC Alba at the end of this month, is on its way to reaching a global audience after sparking interest from foreign broadcasters.

Canadian TV companies have lodged interest in Bannan, the "long form drama" shot on Skye which is the star of BBC Alba's autumn schedule, launched yesterday.

Bannan, which roughly translates as The Ties That Bind in English, is being produced by Christopher Young, the man behind the success of the The Inbetweeners TV series and films.

Five more episodes of the series are currently being shot on Skye and 15 more are written, he said yesterday.

The show has been developed with screenwriter Chrisella Ross and actor-director Tony Kearney and cast members include Debbie Mackay, Peigi Wood, Daibhidh Walker, Kathleen MacInnes, Dòmhnall Eoin MacFhionghain and Iain MacRae.

Mackay plays the lead character Mairi Macdonald, who returns to her home island after eight years away.

Mr Young, who made Gaelic film, Seachd: The Inaccessible Pinnacle, in 2007, said he hopes the show, and its mus ic directed by Donald Shaw, founding member of Capercailie, will become "part of the culture" in Scotland before reaching further audiences.

He said that the series, which is all in Gaelic with English subtitles, not only has beautiful imagery and a strong plot, but audiences are no longer put off by subtitled shows.

The first episode will be broadcast on September 23 at 9pm on BBC Alba.

Bannan was shown to industry audiences at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June, and Mr Young said it was warmly received.

"It seemed to go down very well - we want to emulate the success of the Scandinavians - although it is nothing like The Killing, Borgen or The Bridge.

"The long-running format is very much of the moment and it is something we are very excited to get into, but particularly it is exciting to do something that will appeal to a national and international audience."

He added: "I firmly believe if you have made something that is real and true, then it will attract audiences because of that truth - and it doesn't matter whether those audiences are in Yorkshire or Brazil.

"If it does not find a wider audience, I will be very disappointed."

Other new shows announced by BBC Alba include a new "edgy" comedy starring Sanjeev Kohli called Gaol@Gael and a profile of the former Celtic striker John Hartson.

The show Cobhair Chloinne will profile the work of the doctors and nursing staff of the Scottish Paediatric Retrieval Service operating out of Edinburgh and Glasgow with cameras following their work for the first time.