1. ITV Report

Shaun the Sheep becomes favourite children's character of the last 70 years

Shaun the Sheep has topped a poll of favourite children's characters over the last 70 years - beating creations such as Postman Pat and The Wombles.

The Aardman creation, which made its debut in the 1995 Wallace and Gromit film A Close Shave, triumphed in a poll of the best BBC children's characters though the decades.

Shaun the Sheep (left) and Blitzer the sheepdog. Credit: Radio Times/PA Wire

Shaun the Sheep creator Richard Starzak 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!"

– Shaun the Sheep creator Richard Starzak

The shortlist featured shows such as The Magic Roundabout, Paddington, Willo The Wisp, Teletubbies and In The Night Garden, from the 1950s to the current decade.

The Greendale-based series was originally made in the 1980s, but new episodes, featuring the scrapes of the postman and his cat Jess, are still being produced.

Puppeteer Matthew Corbett with Sooty, the bear puppet originally developed in the 1950's. Credit: PA Archive

Sooty and Sweep, the puppets who made their small-screen debut in the 1950s in The Sooty Show, came third.

The shortlist, of the top 50 BBC children's TV characters, was compiled by Radio Times

The results were announced as several children's shows, including Danger Mouse, Clangers Teletubbies and Thunderbirds are set for a comeback.

Radio Times editor Ben Preston said:

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.

– Radio Times editor Ben Preston

The full list of winners are below:

Favourite BBC children's TV character:

1 - Shaun the Sheep

2 - Postman Pat

3 - Sooty and Sweep

TV favourites the Teletubbies. Credit: PA Archive

Most popular BBC Children's TV character by decade:


1 - Sooty and Sweep (1955)

2 - Captain Pugwash (1957)

3 - Bill and Ben (1952)


1 - The Magic Roundabout

2 - Camberwick Green (1966), Trumpton (1967), Chigley (1969

3 - Clangers (1969)


1 - Paddington Bear (1975)

2 - The Wombles (1973)

3 - Bagpuss (1974)


1 - Postman Pat (1981)

2 - Pingu (1986)

3 - Willo the Wisp (1981)


1 - Bob the Builder (1998)

2 - Teletubbies (1997)

3 - Brum (1991)


1 - Shaun the Sheep (2007)

2 - Sarah and Duck (2013)

3 - In the Night Garden (2007)