Television puppet show characters and stop-motion stars of programmes from the 1960s through to the 1990s claim they ‘have had enough’, and are marching on 10 Downing St to deliver a petition protesting about them having been re-imagined and rendered in CGI for the latest versions of their shows.

Leader of the group Welsh firebrand, Pontypandy’s eponymous hero of Fireman Sam, Fireman Sam said: ‘It’s a disgrace. We’ve just been cast aside as it’s easier and more cost effective for them to CGI us all. They incur no wage bills and it’s just a cynical move. And after all the years of loyal service we have given too. Well we’re not standing for it.’

And the so-called Terracotta Twosome Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men, superstars from the 1960s, agree with Sam: ‘Uddap buddap schluddup,’ said Bill, with his stage buddy Ben adding: ‘Pubbil dubbil schlad-a-pap!’

It’s understood that in a sensational move all the original Thunderbirds crews had intended to mount a task force to ‘take out’ several key animation studios producing the new shows. However the operation stalled and a frustrated Jeff Tracy confirmed: ‘We’re a bit stuck to be honest, as we just can’t get the puppeteers or stop-motion production staff to join us in our action.’

Meanwhile a spokesman for the BBC said: ‘It’s a shame as many of the puppets are television icons, but sadly time has moved on and with kid’s expectations these days we felt the old stars were just too wooden.’