Tufty given new look for old message
Friday 26 February 1993
Thirty-two years after the birth of Tufty, the red squirrel who used to stand rather goofishly on the pavement with his hand in his mother's, RoSPA has redesigned the character after sending a team to a town in the West Midlands to find out what children are really like today.
The team came up with a politically correct dossier that would have been unrecognisable in the 1960s' climate of Bill and Ben, The Woodentops, and even the more avant-garde Magic Roundabout where Dylan the rabbit often behaved as if on drugs. Tufty, it seems, is as likely these days to have an unemployed father who spends much of his time doing the washing up, and friends who come from single parent families, like Willy Weasel, and have special learning difficulties, like Matty Mole.
In appearance, Tufty himself has also changed. More anthropomorphic, with a rather stylish haircut, he has replaced his cardigan and schoolboyish trousers with a bright yellow T-shirt and blue jeans. Instead of living in a semi-detached house, he now lives in an end-of-terrace house on a busy road close to a park. However, Tufty aficionados will be pleased to know that his character remains the same: despite being touched by life's nastiness through his family and friends, he is still a happy and smiling squirrel who is dedicated to preventing children getting killed on the roads.
Launching the new Tufty at a hotel in London yesterday, Kenneth Carlisle, the Minister for Roads and Traffic, said the squirrel had been an important messenger of the need for road safety since 1961. 'Children have been safer and lives have been saved just because Tufty existed and has been present in so many children's minds. In 1985, we wanted to reduce accidents on the road by a third by the year 2000. We will not achieve or exceed it without the help of everyone.'
John Howard, RoSPA's director of safety, said Tufty had proved 'a well-loved and effective character for helping children learn vital safety lessons over the years. We are certain that with Tufty's help, parents, pre-school playgroup leaders and teachers of children in infant schools will be able to help make their children safer road users.'
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
New essay by JK Rowling went live on pottermore site this morning
Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
Want to ward off (or welcome) trick-or-treaters? Here's how
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
- 5 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Halloween 2014: From the Screaming Man of Pluckley to the 'White Lady' of the Tower of London - Britain's 20 most haunted places
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Position: Early Years TeacherRequired: J...
£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£95 - £105 per day + plus free travel scheme: Randstad Education Cardiff: KS1 ...