The star of one of the world's most popular children's television shows now has a real life counterpart. An authentic, working version of Theodore Tug Boat was launched Wednesday in Dayspring, on the LaHave River near Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

"Theodore Tugboat is the only boat I ever built with eyes and a ballcap," said boatbuilder Phil Snyder.

The television program was produced in Halifax and featured several miniature tugboats plying the water of Halifax Harbour. Millions of people now watch it in more than 70 countries around the world.

Wednesday, the 22-inch model took on new gigantic proportions. The real version is 65 feet long, powers a 400-horse power engine, and cost almost a million dollars to build.

"It looks just like it does on TV," said one enthusiastic young fan as she watched Theodore slide into the water.

Theodore will have to undergo sea trials, just like any real ship. Then he's off to scheduled appearances all along the easter seaboard from Nova Scotia to Florida.