| 7.8/10 |
27 December 1991
| Murray George
Children's television series
Network Ten, Seven Network
Here's Humphrey, The Book Place, Mulligrubs, Simon Townsend's Wonder, The Curiosity Show
Fat Cat and Friends was an Australian children's television show starring Fat Cat (full name: Frederick Alphonso Tubsy Cat or Francis Aloysius Tom Cat), a costumed character, who is an orange/ginger anthropomorphic cat who wears red braces, a blue bow tie and a green bowler hat and striped socks. The show was similar in concept to Here's Humphrey featuring Humphrey B. Bear. One of the main hosts was Lynn Weston, who would later host children's show The Book Place.
Fat Cat and Friends Wikipedia
Following the cancellation of The Magic Circle Club, actor/writer Max Bartlett continued to work in television production, moving to Western Australia, where he helped to develop the character of "Fat Cat" and the children's series, The Underground Video Show. The character still says goodnight to Perth children on television at 7.30 each night.
"Fat Cat and Friends" was then produced in the studios of Network 10 Adelaide and it survived the 1987 frequency switch of channels 10 & 7 in Adelaide. It was written, directed and produced by Murray George for 13 years. It was then produced by Channel 10. The show ran on the 0-10 Network (as it was then known) from 1972 until 1987, then on the Seven Network until it was cancelled in 1991 after the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal claimed that the program was not educational enough and was "not clearly defined and might confuse the young". There was also a question of gender—namely, that Fat Cat did not appear to have one. The character being mute was also a clear issue despite the precedent of Humphrey B. Bear.
During the 1990s, Fat Cat often appeared on celebrity versions of the then Adelaide produced Wheel of Fortune. As Fat Cat did not speak he was usually paired up with Channel 7's resident puppet Agro who was the mouthpiece for the duo.
Despite cancellation, Fat Cat still appears on Perth television screens as the mascot of Seven Perth's highly successful Telethon fundraising organisation.
Fat Cat was originally played by Reg Whiteman for more than a decade. Fat Cat was then played by Ralf Hadzic for five years. Fat Cat was then played by Melanie George (1980–1985) who is now a freelance choreographer. Robert Fordham played Fat Cat from 1994 and performed on 3 of the Fat Cat Storytime videos. The character was later played off screen by a male friend Damien of the show's musician, singer Patsy Biscoe.
Initially slated for release as a sidekick to Fat Cat, the character of 'Stringbean' was originally played in the first month of screening by veteran comedic actor 'Nudge McGee'.