A new, politically correct SuperTed is returning to TV screens for 26 episodes. And this time, the evil cowboy villain Texas Pete won’t carry a gun, his sidekick skeleton won’t be camp and cowardly and Bulk won’t be the subject of endless fat jokes. 

The 21st Century SuperTed, complete with social awareness, is being revived by its creator, Mike Young, who told Radio Times how children’s television has changed since the 1980s. 

“Popeye used to smash people in the face. And it was very funny. But of course there is no television network anywhere in the world that would let you do that now,” he said. “In SuperTed we had a gun-slinging cowboy, a flamboyantly gay skeleton and a fat guy who had jokes made about his weight. And all these things you just wouldn’t do today.”

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But Young is confident, despite the changes to the fabric of the show, that “you can still write the show in a funny, entertaining way” adding that his company would “definitely be talking to Melvyn and Derek” about reprising their voice roles.

Peter Firmin, who co-created the show and is involved in the new series, said: “It’s all being filmed in front of a camera using knitted puppets. The animation will be much smoother but there will still be swanee whistles for the voices.”

But while SuperTed will be making a big comeback, Shaun The Sheep beaten Postman Pat and Sooty and Sweep to top a poll of favourite BBC children's TV characters from the last 70 years. The Aardman creation, who made his debut in the 1995 Wallace and Gromit film A Close Shave and was given his own series in 2007.

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