Fireman Sam has come under fire for not being inclusive enough, could these classic kids' TV shows be next?
We all have our own favourite TV shows that we grew up with and the classic kids' TV show Fireman Sam surely falls into that bracket for millions of people here in the UK.
However, the show and character of Fireman Sam have come under close scrutiny after Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue banned the character from being its mascot.
Naturally, the decision to ban the character has been met with a lot of criticism from fans of the show which has been a fixture in British TV since the 1980s.
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Why was Fireman Sam banned?
Fireman Sam has been banned by Lincolnshire's Fire and Rescue service for not being inclusive and a potential factor in fewer women aspiring to become firefighters.
Lincolnshire's chief fire officer, Lez Britzman, told ITV's Good Morning Britain that "the character is outdated" and that he should be renamed "Firefighter Sam."
According to Sky News only 5.2% of firefighters in England are women.
What do fans make of the news?
As mentioned, Fireman Sam has been a near-constant figure on British TV since it first aired in 1987 and, as a result, has been teaching children about fire safety and the firefighting profession for over 30 years.
The whole #FiremanSam thing is a bit ridiculous. We can’t sideline all male role-models - we just need more female ones.— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) September 11, 2019
Isn't there a female firefighter in fireman Sam.... Just use her for recruitment promotion...wouldn't that be easier....— Space Slime (@Kyuubeeb) September 11, 2019
Having spent hours watching #FiremanSam with my grandsons I can confirm it’s the most PC program imaginable with female firefighters doing exactly the same as Sam. This increasing desire to remove men from being role models is getting ridiculous https://t.co/STqX2KOpjG— Susan Hall AM (@Councillorsuzie) September 11, 2019
Could these three children's classic be next?
The uproar over the Fireman Sam controversy has led some to the conclusion that these classic kids' characters could be next to face the so-called PC brigade for not being inclusive enough.
Bob the Builder
Another children's classic that has been mentioned alongside the Fireman Sam controversy is Bob the Builder who appeared on our screens for the first time back in 1998.
Some fans of the show feel that it should have ended with the 2015 reboot that brought the iconic character back in CGI form.
However, a gender-swapped Barbara the Bricklayer may be too far for some.
Postman Pat is another iconic character who has been with us since the 1980s.
The iconic postman has been delivering mail alongside his trusty black and white cat Jess since 1981.
Naturally, he's been mentioned in this heated debate over Fireman Sam with a number of people calling for the legendary postie to be renamed Postperson Pat, which let's face it, doesn't have the same ring to it.
Thomas the Tank Engine
Thomas the Tank Engine has also been on our screens for well over 30 years after it first hit our screens as Thomas & Friends back in 1984, with the dulcet tones of Ringo Starr narrating.
The series has received a number of different versions over the years including a CGI reboot or two.
You can't really give a train a gender-neutral role but please God don't let the show end up being named Theresa the Tank Engine.
Whether or not the iconic kids' TV character keeps his 'Fireman' title in future remains to be seen but the debate over this much-loved character looks set to rumble on.
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