Industry regulator OFCOM is to investigate the BBC regarding age discrimination after it was alleged that Postman Pat was sacked because the organization deemed him too old for the role. The erstwhile posty has been delivering mail and solving local grievances in Greendale for almost thirty years. However, the BBC has unceremoniously dumped the Royal Mail’s most famous representative following the announcement that they hope to breathe ‘new life’ into the franchise and ’do a Dr Who’, prompting outrage from equality campaigners and bored Jack Russells.
The rebooted Postman Pat is to be relaunched as a mini series of post-watershed features sporting a slicker, less stop-motion aesthetic and racier plots . Pat is now to be played by Colin Farrell, after first choice Alicia Dixon chose instead to replace Romona Marquez in hit sitcom ‘Outnumbered’. Moreover, filming on the first episode, ‘Postman Pat Always Rings Twice’ is to begin filming in March leaving the BBC to field uncomfortable questions about why Pat was removed and how long ago the decision was taken.
Rumours have been rife that producers have been attempting to ostracise Pat, real name Patrick Clifton, for several months after changing to evening shoots and denying their star any creative input. Insiders are also said to have been concerned after the elder statesman of delivery became increasingly marginalised by an young and multicultural cast, an overwhelming workload following his promotion to Head of Delivery and most distressingly, the decision to replace mainstay ‘Jess the Cat’ with Robbie the Robot.
A spokesperson for Age UK said that, ‘this is yet another clear example of a face simply being too wrinkly to fit. They have tried to exploit an elderly man’s fear of outsiders and technology to no avail. When they realised they couldn’t make him leave, they just pushed him out with a sweary Irishman, the only thing more frightening to an old man than toffee.’
However, the BBC has denied any wrong doing and has defended its decision, claiming that the programme figure-head was ‘no longer capable nor interested in performing his principle duties to the best of his ability. We have had frequent complaints of mail being delivered late, to the wrong addresses and worrying reports of lewd behaviour towards Mrs. Goggins.’
In addition, creative director Alan Yentob revealed that producers were cornered by Mr. Clifton’s continued drinking and were forced to contrive a ‘holiday’ for the main character whilst he attended a two week stint in an alcohol rehabilitation facility. ‘Pat had become extremely disruptive and repeatedly threw tantrums on set. When we realised it was him who kept on letting the cows out, and stealing Mr. Thompson’s turnips he had to let him go. Plus he’s been about sixty for thirty years, so he is overdue for early retirement.’
Mr Clifton is said to have been devastated, but has already signed up for an ITV2 documentary and is set to pursue a career in musical theatre, along with Jess, with whom he has been happily reunited.