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Thursday, 8 November, 2001, 14:00 GMT
Postman Pat sold for 5m
Postman Pat
Pat'll do nicely: the cheque is presumably in the post
The animation company behind children's favourite Postman Pat has been sold for 5.1m.

Postman cash
Sold to 55 countries
Generates 10m a year annual sales
80 spin-off book titles and official web site
The sale of Woodland Animations to character licensing group Entertainment Rights makes a millionaire of Ivor Wood, who helped create the cheery postie with writer John Cunliffe.

Postman Pat joins Basil Brush, The Magic Roundabout and Camberwick Green in the Entertainment Rights stable.

Since his first series in 1981, the unassuming postman has become one of the BBC's most successful children's characters, endearing himself to two generations of children and appearing in more than 50 countries.

Mr Wood, who also produced the Wombles and Paddington Bear, said: "We've kept him so far and nurtured him on his way.

"But this year is his 20th anniversary and it's time to move him along now."

'New levels of success'

Postman Pat was originally dreamed up by Mr Cunliffe, who wrote the stories, while Mr Wood came on board to bring the characters to life.

Anyone can produce a success - look at the Harry Potter incident

Ivor Wood

"You never know what's going to be a success although people often say they know what is going to be a hit and what isn't," Mr Wood said.

"But what's nice about it is that anyone can produce a success. Look at the Harry Potter incident."

Entertainment Rights boss Mike Heap pledged to give Pat a new lease of life.

"Postman Pat has been well established and nurtured by its owners for over 20 years.

"Entertainment Rights' development of the property will take the character to a new level of success," he said.

See also:

24 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
More children have TV 'in bedrooms'
19 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Postman Pat gets the sack
20 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Bob the Builder fixed for Japan
29 Oct 01 | Business
Pingu sold for 16m
28 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
The 100 Greatest TV Kids' Shows results
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