I’ve been in Ireland since Friday and only just returned to the UK, following a delay caused by Storm Ophelia (those female storms, eh?) I was planning to post blog pieces as usual during my trip, but due to a technical issue which need not detain us, was unable to. It will be a day or two before I get through the backlog of suggested links to media stories, my thanks to Sean for this. The start of the piece:
It is all change for Thomas the Tank Engine.
The much-loved television series, based on the books by Rev Wilbert Awdry, is being overhauled for a new generation.
Tidmouth Sheds will become gender-balanced, with two male engines turfed out to make way for females – one of them from Africa.
The Liverpudlian narrator – a tradition begun by Ringo Starr, then continued by actors Michael Angelis and Mark Monaghan – will disappear, as will the theme tune with its roll-call of engine names.
But in the most unlikely change of all, Thomas will leave his home on the Island of Sodor for adventures abroad, in episodes that support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.