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 and 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 1950s; The Magic Roundabout was the 1960s favourite; Peru’s most famous bear Paddington topped the ’70s; Postman Pat was the ’80s winner; Bob the Builder was voted the ’90s 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 and 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 nationwide from February 6th 2015.