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1001 Postman Pat
Added on 28th August 2020

Writer Jon Cunliffe
Director Ivor Wood
Producers Woodland Animations
First shown 1981, BBC

Join Pat and his cat, Jess, as they deliver the mail in Greendale.

Story

Postman Pat is a stop-motion animation series following postman Pat Clifton and his black-and-white cat Jess as they deliver parcels and letters in their home village of Greendale.

Why we chose it

A gentle television series for pre-school children.

Where it came from

Writer John Cunliffe has said that the inspiration for Pat came from the post office in Kendal, Cumbria, and Greendale is based on the valley of Longsleddale, Cumbria, near where Cunliffe lived for a time. Cunliffe also spent some time as a mobile librarian, and he drew on this experience when creating Pat. He wanted a character who could travel around and meet and interact with lots of people, and so a postman seemed ideal.

Cunliffe was working as a teacher and also writing children’s books when one of the parents suggested he sent a story to the BBC. Producer Cynthia Felgate was looking for a new series to be set in the countryside. Cunliffe researched at his local post office which is now closed but there is a plaque to him and Pat. Work on the animation was slow- 10 seconds was produced in one day.

Where it went next

Postman Pat was immediately popular and remains so to this day. In 2006 it was nominated for a BAFTA. It has been broadcast all over the world and numbers around 200 episodes and many specials. Many millions of associated books and products have been sold and Pat even advertised for Specsavers. The show has also been parodied, including in a 1987 Spitting Image Christmas Special.

Associated stories

The spin-off Postman Pat: Special Delivery Service is an updated version, in which Pat has a helicopter and lots of new gadgets. Jess the cat had his own spin-off show Guess with Jess (2009-2013) in which he could talk and had adventures with the animals on a farm. In 2014 Postman Pat: The Movie was released and showed Pat entering a talent show while robots looked after the post. Cunliffe also wrote the successful series Rosie and Jim, an ITV series about a pair of rag dolls living on a canal barge. He appeared in the first 50 episodes as the owner of the barge – and the dolls - Fizzgog.

He wrote a number of books for children, many about Postman Pat or Rosie and Jim.

Ivor Wood also worked on television series The Magic Roundabout, The Wombles, The Herbs and Paddington Bear.

Added on 28th August 2020

Writer Jon Cunliffe
Director Ivor Wood
Producers Woodland Animations
First shown 1981, BBC