The Edmondson Blog

Who is Seaman Stains?

The Captain Pugwash cartoon, which originally ran on the BBC between 1958 and 1967, is widely believed to have featured characters with risqué maritime names such as Master Bates, Seaman Staines, and Roger the Cabin Boy. In fact, the crew of the famous Black Pig ship included sailors with no such names: present on board were Master Mate, Tom the Cabin Boy, and Pirates Barnabas and Willy. (No character with the designation of 'Seaman' appeared in the show.) Series creator John Ryan successfully won retractions and settlements from the Sunday Correspondent and the Guardian after both newspapers claimed that the show's characters did indeed have smutty names, and that the BBC had taken it off the air as a result.

Another urban myth cleared up.

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