Thirty years ago next month, ultimate children's hero Fireman Sam first appeared on TV screens, fighting fires and racing to the rescue of everyone in Pontypandy.
For decades the programme has been one of Britain's best loved children's shows, and its popularity is showing no sign of waning to this day.
But as the milestone of its very first episode approaches, London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton has said she wants the programme to change its name to 'Firefighter Sam' in order to shake off 'outdated language'.
Cotton, London's first female commissioner, told ITV she has written to the makers of the programme and asked them to consider a rebrand, The Mirror reports.
"I have actually written to the makers of ‘Fireman Sam’ and asked them on his 30th birthday to reconsider naming him ‘Firefighter Sam’ to join in on the inclusive nature," she said.
"I like the concept, I like the fact it’s a cartoon that educates people and helps children learn about the dangers of fire. But I really would like him to come on board and be called ‘Firefighter Sam’.
"The first woman firefighter joined London Fire Brigade in 1982 and it’s ridiculous that 35 years later people are still surprised to see women firefighters or calling them firemen," Cotton added.
During the 1980s, contracts were changed to reflect women joining the fire brigade, and the word "fireman" was gradually replaced to the more generic "firefighter".
Today, there are around 300 female firefighters in London - 7% of the total. Nationally, the number is lower - around three per cent and critics feel the job's association with masculinity may put some women off.
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