Shaun the Sheep voted the nation’s best loved BBC children’s TV character
haun the Sheep has been voted the nation’s favourite BBC children’s TV character of all time in a poll conducted by Radio Times, the UK’s biggest selling quality magazine. Shaun, the sheep who doesn’t like to follow the flock, beat Postman Pat and Sooty & Sweep to second and third place respectively.
Richard Starzak, creator of Shaun the Sheep, said: ”I’m chuffed, flattered and delighted, on behalf of everyone who has worked on Shaun the Sheep, for this honour. Many BBC animated characters were a big and important part of my childhood. It’s amazing to think that Shaun will be part of so many people’s happy memories. I’m so grateful to the readers of the Radio Times for voting for Shaun. You’ve made me very happy!”
The poll conducted by Radio Times received over 41,000 votes, also asked readers to vote for their favourite BBC children’s TV character (animated or puppet) from the last seven decades, from a shortlist of the Top 50 BBC children’s TV characters compiled by Radio Times and the BFI.
Sooty and Sweep topped the poll for the 1950’s; psychedelic favourite The Magic Roundabout was the 1960’s favourite; Peru’s most famous bear Paddington topped the 70’s; Postman Pat was the 80’s winner; Bob the Builder was voted the 90’s favourite; and Shaun the Sheep won the vote from programmes broadcast from 2000 onwards.
Ben Preston, Radio Times editor, said: “The huge response to our poll shows how dearly we cherish our television memories of childhood. Every generation has a favourite which lingers for a lifetime. Our winner, Shaun the Sheep, will be remembered in 50 years’ time, just as the children of the 80s voted for Postman Pat, and Sooty and Sweep remain hugely popular almost 60 years after they were first broadcast. It’s a testament to the enduring quality of British children’s television that a contemporary character topped the poll in a shortlist filled with classic programmes from the last seven decades.”
Produced by Aardman, Shaun the Sheep was first seen in Nick Park’s Academy Award-winning Wallace and Gromit film A Close Shave; his popularity led to his own BBC series first broadcast in 2007. Shaun has since featured in 130 episodes broadcast in 170 territories, and has won two International Emmys (2008 & 2010) and a Children’s BAFTA (2010). Shaun the Sheep the Movie is currently in production at Aardman’s studio in Bristol. The film is scheduled to be in cinemas nation-wide from February 6th 2015.
The poll was inspired by a new exhibition, Here’s One We Made Earlier, which opens in The Lowry in Salford on Saturday 19 July until 12 October. The exhibition will explore the story of BBC Children’s broadcasting of over 90 years, from 1922, when the BBC launched Children’s Hour, right up to the present multi-media age.
Most popular BBC Children’s TV character of all time:
1. Shaun the Sheep (2007) 2. Postman Pat (1981) 3. Sooty & Sweep (1955)