It seems Titty is too rude for the new Swallows and Amazons film – but Roger is OK

The name of the character in the much-loved children’s books is to be changed to Tatty for the new BBC adaptation

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When BBC head of films Christine Langan revealed in an interview with RadioTimes.com that the Corporation was going to remake Swallows and Amazons she said that the production would be “faithful to the novel”.

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But she also added that it would “appeal to a contemporary audience” – and contemporary audiences clearly have a slightly filthy mind in the eyes of the production team, which has changed the name of one of the lead characters from Titty to Tatty.

Tatty Walker, as she will now be known, will be played by newcomer Teddie-Rose Malleson-Allen – half-sister of pop star Lily Allen – in the adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s 1930 children’s novel, which follows a group of children on adventures set between the two World Wars.

Another Walker sibling – Roger – will have his name unchanged despite the inappropriate associations some equally filthy minds may make with that moniker.

However, the Tatty/Titty change does at least have some grounding in the origination of the story.

Ransome based the characters on a real-life family, the Altounyans. One of their children, Mavis, was nicknamed Titty after the Joseph Jacobs’ children’s story Titty Mouse and Tatty Mouse.

A BBC spokesperson was unable to confirm at the time of writing whether the change was indeed for the sake of taste and decency but it is not the first time it has had a problem with the name.

When it broadcast a 1963 television adaptation of Swallows and Amazons, Titty was renamed Kitty, although a Radio 4 broadcast in 2012 kept the name Titty, as did the 1974 film starring Virginia McKenna as the children’s mother.

The new film begins shooting this weekend in the Lake District and Yorkshire. Directed by Philippa Lowthorpe, whose credits include Call the Midwife and Jamaica Inn, it also stars Rafe Spall as Captain Flint.

He will be joined by Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie, Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald, W1A’s Jessica Hynes and comedian Harry Enfield. 

Hynes and Enfield will play farmers Mr and Mrs Jackson, while Christie and Macdonald will star as Mrs Blacknett and Mrs Walker, the mothers of the story’s children.

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Gwendoline Christie, Jessica Hynes and Rafe Spall start filming Swallows and Amazons film

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