The daughter of Thomas the Tank Engine’s creator has criticised “political correctness against Christian belief” after references to Christmas were left out of an episode.
In the offending episode, entitled Keeping Up With James, the trains compete to deliver presents to children but Christmas has been rebranded as “the winter holidays”.
The popular series was created by Revd Wilbert V Audry more than 60 years ago and now his daughter Hilary Fortham has hit out at the politically correct storyline.
In a letter to the Daily Telegraph she said: “It is not what my father, the Reverend Wilbert Audry, wrote. He always impressed on reporters and publishers that he ‘was a priest first and a children’s author second’.
“Christmas, signifying the birth of Christ was always very important to him.”
“He would feel very strongly about this politically correct age, and that those who now write his stories should not take Christ out of Christmas. Political correctness against Christian belief offends.”
But HIT Entertainment, the show’s current producers, insisted that they took Revd Audrey’s legacy “very seriously”.
In a statement the company said: “The episode recently referenced in some press articles is six years old and was contained in a four episode DVD that was not sold as either a ‘Christmas’ or a ‘Holiday’ themed release.
“Thomas has a great deal of Christmas themed content and does not shy away from celebrating the occasion, as last year’s DVD ‘Thomas & Friends: Christmas Express’ makes clear. Currently we are working on another DVD ‘Merry Christmas, Thomas’.”