Postman Pat (CBBC, 1981-1982)
When I began this blog (almost five years ago now!), I planned to share some memories of children’s TV shows that I enjoyed watching, however popular or forgotten they were. As long as I liked them, that was enough to feature them here. And there’s no doubt that this show falls into the more popular and enduring category with viewers, so there isn’t much I can add that hasn’t already been said, but I thought I might as well do this one to reveal that I am a fan too.
Postman Pat was another stop-motion animation series, and it was created and written by John Cunliffe, who would later become known for hosting the early series of CITV’s Rosie And Jim with his two blue pens. I did notice that the animation style was rather similar to later shows that appeared on CBBC including Fireman Sam, such as the character’s mouths not actually moving when they spoke. Every episode was 15 minutes long.
Postman Pat was set in the small and rather picturesque village of Greendale, where Pat (and not forgetting his black and white cat Jess) would drive round in his van, and give letters to the villagers. These included such characters as the postmistress Mrs Goggins, Alf the farmer, and Reverend Timms, and as he was very friendly they all considered Pat to be the Postman Of The Year. What a lucky man.
To give some indication of how popular the show became, not only was a single of the theme music released (performed by Ken Barrie, who also voiced Pat), but it actually made the chart, reaching No. 44. I know that might not be that high a position, but it’s still a lot better than what most TV themes achieved. There were also plenty of tapes and books released that were a success too, and episodes have been shown around the world.
I was rather surprised when I realised that only 13 episodes of Postman Pat were made in the 80s, because it was shown so frequently, usually as part of the See-Saw strand, but also as part of the main CBBC afternoon strand. I remember having the weekly comic that ran for a few years, and the annuals as well (and I’m sure I still have some of these somewhere).
From the 90s onward, there would be lots more episodes made, but the first series is the one that will always mean the most to me. There have now been almost 200 episodes made, along with a film, and most of the episodes made in more recent years (that have been shown on CBeebies) have been computer-generated (with many more people providing the voices), and all of the cast’s mouths now move, which must be a relief to a lot of them.