Richard Deverell, controller of Children’s Entertainment at the BBC has confirmed the network is to axe one of its most enduring children’s programmes which will usher in the end of one of the corporations longest running partnerships.
After a career spanning 30 years and over 100 episodes in which he defied the elements and battled unremitting odds - Greendale’s most charismatic postman-the irrepressible Pat Clifton- has made his final round.
Kay Benbow, controller at CBeebies said the corporation had reluctantly cancelled the latest series delivered by Pat’s creator John ‘Cunny’ Cunliffe after changes made to the central character were deemed to have gone a little too far.
For over 30 years, Postman Pat has enjoyed huge success around the world, with his antics followed by children from as far away as the Faroe Isles to Argentina to China
Mr. Cuncliffe defended the changes, saying it was a BBC memo that suggested the show was in need of a makeover ‘to appeal to a more sophisticated, better informed younger audience a decade into the 21st century’ and he had only tried to challenge convention with contemporary plot lines and character development.
The latest series finds Pat struggling to cope with a mid-life crisis following a gender reassignment programme to alleviate secret feelings he has been suppressing since the third series.
In the first episode of the new series Post Op Pat is lured away from the village after winning an audition for a TV talent contest. Pat, now having replaced his blue postie uniform for a sequined ball gown, delivers a thunderous rendition of ‘Goldfinger’ to an unsuspecting Greendale audience then leaves the stage to stunned silence.
‘Children have to learn that not all of them are going to grow up to be a beautiful Princess’ said Cunliffe....’if that’s what they really want out of life then some of them are going to have to follow the same route as poor old Pat and opt for this reassignment surgery’.
However, it is not all bad news for Cunliffe after Chinese TV said they would still be taking the new series....although the ending was altered slightly for Chinese children to enjoy...instead of winning the talent contest Pat is thrown into prison without trial and his/her human rights routinely violated by fellow prisoners.
‘Well if that’s the case, I guess it means we won’t be hearing from Pat for another 30 years’ sighed the author.
‘It’s a shame about the direction Mr.Cunliffe has taken Pat’ continued Benbow ‘admittedly we did ask for some cuts in the new series but this is not quite what we had in mind. When we heard Pat would be going into hospital for a replacement we naturally thought a hip or something.
And when he mentioned there would a few changes to Pat’s pussy...we just assumed little Jess would get run over in a road accident or went missing...we hadn’t planned for this’.
A furious Mr. Cuncliff was later restrained by security guards outside Broadcasting House after being told the new signature tune was also deemed unacceptable by the BBC.
‘Come on children ...all together now, sing along’ bellowed Cuncliffe from inside the police van as he was driven away.... ‘Postman-Pat-Postman-Pat much happier now he’s ditched the cat..... Postman-Pat-Postman-Pat swopped his cock for a black & white twat’