A friend of mine once said he thought Captain Pugwash was a pooch pamperer who liked ‘ugly dogs’ … but the rest of us know the captain is actually Britain’s best-loved and most maligned pirate.
And he has had his main-sail spliced as far as our telly screens have been concerned since 1998. It followed students spreading rumours and urban myths about rude character names that actually never existed.
Pugwash’s career as a bit of a swashbuckler riding the oceans on the poop of the Black Pig began 41 years earlier when the BBC launched him and his shipmates as ‘live animated’ cardboard cut-outs.
Captain Horatio Pugwash is still today ably assisted by cabin boy Tom, pirates Willy and Barnabas, and Master Mate. His mortal enemy is still Cut-Throat Jake, captain of the Flying Dustman.
But what’s in a name – and now he’s back!
Nick Frost is going to play Captain Pugwash on the big screen. Nick will play the bumbling pirate in the movie based on the classic children’s books created by John Ryan. Pugwash first actually appeared as a comic strip in The Eagle in 1950.
“Besides Winston Churchill and Henry VIII, Captain Horatio Pugwash seems like a role I was born to play,” Nick said.
The movie will see the big buccaneer on a ship to Botany Bay, where he eventually finds himself at the helm of The Black Pig on a mission to rescue Tom the Cabin Boy’s father, who is marooned on a volcanic island.
Production on the film will start next year.
Isbael Ryan said recently her father was shocked after student newspapers in the 1970s created rumours about the supposed smutty names of the characters.
While it did feature a Master Mates and a Pirate Willy, characters like Seaman Staines, Roger the Cabin Boy and Master Bates just did not exist.
Mr Ryan won libel damages from two newspapers in 1991 after they published stories that the BBC had taken Captain Pugwash off the air because of the risqué names.