An episode of Fireman Sam in which one character appears to tread on a page from the Koran has been withdrawn. A scene in the children's programme shows a fireman slipping on a pile of papers - and as they fly into the air a page from the Koran is "briefly depicted", production firm Mattel said. The episode was first broadcast in October 2014 on Channel 5 but the "error" has only recently been spotted.
Although outdated in many ways, particularly in areas such as dress code and its attitude to women, Fireman Sam nonetheless remains popular with its followers.
“When I read that a frame from a programme I’ve never watched before could be seen as offensive, I immediately saw it as offensive,” explain professional offence-taker, Simon Williams.
“I mean, I wouldn’t call for his death or anything, but I think he should face suspension ahead of a disciplinary enquiry.
“If you don’t keep these stories up to date, people will stop believing in them.”
Channel 5 apologised for any offence that was about to be taken in this way, and urged the public not to share the video on social media. The episode has been replaced on their website by a new one, entitled ‘Fireman Sam wears a tag and visits a deradicalisation workshop’.