Postman Pat author denies link with Paul Goggins

An intriguing conflict of evidence has emerged over the link between the new voluntary sector minister Paul Goggins and Mrs Goggins, the character in the Postman Pat children's television show and books.

Mrs Goggins is a little grey-haired woman who works in the post office with Pat and his black and white cat, Jess. Her trademark utterance is: "Eee, it's a bad job."

In a BBC interview in January, Goggins said his uncle Edmund was a friend of Postman Pat author John Cunliffe when they were teachers in Manchester.

"I think it highly unlikely he just made the name up from scratch, but took it from my uncle's name," said Goggins.

However, the theory was this week refuted by Cunliffe, who told Third Sector: "I think there is a misunderstanding here. I do not know anyone who is related to Paul Goggins.

"I simply found the name Goggins in the Westmorland phone directory when I was drafting the treatment for the original Postman Pat series. I liked the sound of the name, so I used it. That's all there is to it. Sorry to have to puncture the myth for you."

The myth has also reached the pages of the internal Home Office newsletter, Inside Track, which included the story in its pen portraits of new ministers.

Since its first series in 1981, Postman Pat has endeared itself to children in more than 50 countries worldwide.

- See Newsmaker, page 19.

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