Friday, July 24, 2009

Those Captain Pugwash schoolboy urban myths

I note the sad passing of the highly talented John Ryan, who created the charming Captain Pugwash series. It is perhaps a good opportunity to repeat that the stories about smutty names in the series were completely untrue. As the BBC states today:

Contrary to popular myth there was no Master Bates or Seaman Staines and the cabin boy was called Tom, not Roger.

Wikipedia adds:

There is a persistent urban legend, repeated by the now-defunct UK newspaper the Sunday Correspondent, which ascribes sexually suggestive names – such as Master Bates, Seaman Staines, and Roger the Cabin Boy (meaning to have sex with) – to Captain Pugwash 's characters, and indicating that the captain's name was a slang Australian term for oral sex. John Ryan successfully sued both the Sunday Correspondent and The Guardian newspapers in 1991 for printing this legend as fact. [1]
In a stage show in Frome on 5 June 2009, Richard Digance claimed to have originated this urban legend in a 1970's sketch. A 25-year injunction preventing Digance making any further references to Captain Pugwash expired at the end of 2008 and the material is now part of his act.

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