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John Cunliffe dead at 85: Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim creator dies

Mirror logo Mirror 27/09/2018 Vicki Newman
a man holding a sign: Postman Pat creator John Cunliffe dies aged 85 © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Postman Pat creator John Cunliffe dies aged 85

Postman Pat creator John Cunliffe has died at the age of 85.

The author passed away in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, on September 20.

He delighted generations of children with his tales of rural postman Pat Clifton and his black and white cat Jess, who lived in the fictional village of Greendale.

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The character was turned into a 13-episode series, first aired on BBC1 in 1981.

Mr Cunliffe wrote the original scripts and the show was directed by animator Ivor Wood, who also worked on the Magic Roundabout, The Wombles, Paddington bear and the Herbs. 

Following the success of the first series, four TV specials and a second series of 13 episodes were produced during the 1990s, when Pat had a family.

Undated BBC handout file photo of Postman Pat and his black and white cat Jess, as Ken Barrie, the voice of children's TV show Postman Pat, has died at the age of 83. © PA Undated BBC handout file photo of Postman Pat and his black and white cat Jess, as Ken Barrie, the voice of children's TV show Postman Pat, has died at the age of 83.

A new version of the series was produced by Cosgrove Hall Films from 2003, which expanded on many aspects of the original series.

Mr Cunliffe - who worked for many years as a librarian and also as a teacher - was inspired to create Pat by the stunning scenery and rural life around his home in Kendal, Cumbria.

John with Rosie and Jim © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited John with Rosie and Jim

Greendale was based on the valley of Longsleddale, near Kendal.

His other famous creation was Rosie & Jim, a children's TV favourite from the 1990s that follows the escapades of ragdolls Rosie and Jim, who live on a narrowboat.

He scripted and presented the first 50 episodes, then turned some of them into books.

a man with his mouth open © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

An obituary in Mr Cunliffe's local paper, the Ilkley Gazette, read: "Left his home in a deluge of rain on Thursday, September 20, never to return.

"Even the skies wept for John the gifted creator of Postman Pat and Rosie and Jim and author of many earlier published collections of poetry story books for children.

"John's last poetry collection, significantly entitled 'Dare You Go', has now come to fruition for John has dared to go and he has gone."

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