Punch and Judy, the once-loved seaside resort puppet show, is back to make its 350th anniversary, but not how Ken Dodd knows it. The actor has complained about the alterations made to the show, that was premiered today in London's Covent Garden. Modern stars like Simon Cowell, Prince Harry and deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg are being used as puppets, whilst Punch no longer beats his wife up. Punch is instead a tracksuit wearing benefits cheat, whilst Judy is a wag.
"It's awful to use contemporary figures. They've done it in the past for satirical shows and it isn't funny" moaned Dodd, according to the Daily Telegraph. "Children of all ages have enough common sense and watch enough TV and films to know what's fiction and what's real life. They should keep it traditional."
Continuing, he said "Punch and Judy are puppets and even children know they are puppets. They see slapstick at the circus or in pantomime, they know it's a joke ... Humour is a beautiful gift. A sense of humour is a wonderful thing. It shouldn't be hijacked." The decision to change the program was defended by Steve North, general manager of TV channel Gold, who've made the new version. "This is not a politically correct makeover - the new show is just as anarchic and funny as it has always been, it's simply a modern day version with modern day themes that we can all relate to" he rallied.