It’s been a favourite children’s TV show for a long time, but Thomas the Tank Engine is gearing up for some big changes to make way for more female characters.
It’s time to say goodbye to Henry and Edward, who will be moving out of the Tidmouth Sheds to make way for Nia – an orange tank engine from Africa, and Rebecca, a yellow coloured engine.
It’s also time to say our found farewells to the familiar Liverpudlian narrator – a tradition that first begun with Ringo Star, then continued with actors Michael Angelis and Mark Monaghan. As well as this, the theme tune, with its roll-call of engine names will also disappear.
Yet in the biggest change, Thomas will also be leaving is home on the island of Sodar for adventures abroad, in episodes that aim to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
As Mattel team up with the United Nations, the storylines have been written to meet each one of the five goals: quality education, gender equality, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production and live on land.
These ground-breaking changes are based on market research by Mattel, who believe this will make the show more appropriate for a new generation. The show has previously been criticised for being sexist, classist and anti-environmentalist.
What do you think of these changes? Let us know in the comments below.
Read next: The best Christmas days out for children
Tea with Father Christmas at Wyevale Garden Centres
Want the best Christmas days out with children, but don’t want to travel too far? Visit your local garden centre! Until Christmas Eve, the whole family can take a festive tea or breakfast with Santa at Wyevale Garden Centres all over the country. Kids can decorate a festive cookie and receive a special gift from Father Christmas. Tickets are £9.99 for children and from £3.99 for adults. Or for £5, little ones can enter the magical Santa’s Grotto, meet the man himself and take home a gift.
It’s a feast of family activity at LEGOLAND this Christmas. There are fun rides and attractions, Santa's Grotto, an elf workshop, giant 8m tall LEGO Christmas tree, a gifts market, scavenger hunt and the opportunity to work with other families to build a huge festive LEGO model in the park. Tickets are £30 for a day pass with under-twos free.
Staying longer than a day? Book your stay at LEGOLAND Windsor on booking.com
Like the real Lapland… but without the flight and freezing cold weather. This really is one of the best Christmas days out for children. It’s a Christmas festival, with elves introducing little ones to reindeer and weaving stories of their work in Santa’s grotto. And talking of which, kids can visit Santa and take home a signed photo of themselves with him, plus make gingerbread men, build toys together and receive a little gift. There’s also ice-skating and a log cabin restaurant. It’s pricey at from £65 per person but a truly magical experience.
Fancy staying a little longer? Book a Christmas getaway at Lapland UK on booking.com
Christmas takes over the city of Edinburgh in much the same way the comedy festival does in the summer. There’s everything from street performers and festive shows in the theatres to an ice rink, Children's Market, rides, attractions and fireworks. Tickets vary.
Book a Christmas stay in Edinburgh on booking.com
Open until January 7th, Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland is right in the heart of the city so you can make an evening of it with shopping before fun at the ice-skating rink, Alpine village selling yummy food from German sausages to crepes, funfair rides and attractions. For parents, there’s even some 'Apres Skate' at the Bierkeller Bar where they can sample the mulled wine. Tickets are £11 for adults, £9 for children (3- 15 years old) and £35 for a family of four.
Book your Christmas stay in Cardiff on booking.com
Peppa Pig World at Paulton’s Park is having a festive makeover, making it perfect for the best Christmas days out for Children. The highlight is sure to be seeing Peppa and George wrapped up in their winter hats and scarves, although we can’t guarantee there will be snow! There will be a 4D sleigh ride, and a musical Christmas tree. Adults £28.75; children 3-13 years £28.75; 12-35 months £22.25; under 12 months £6.
Book an overnight stay near Peppa Pig World on booking.com