After 350 years on the gruelling comedy circuit, it’s understandable that Punch and Judy may need a little “freshening up”.
Instead of going down the botox and fillers route favoured by many aging performers, however, this age-old married couple are celebrating their birthday with a whole new act.
After a survey of 2,000 parents revealed that 40% were turned off by the pioneering puppets’ violent, baby-dropping routine, TV channel Gold are planning an all new performance for the duelling duo’s 350th anniversary.
The updated version, which sees Punch donning a tracksuit and Judy as an aspiring wag, also features celebrity cameos from Prince Harry, Boris Johnson and Simon Cowell.
Punch’s habit of clobbering his wife and dropping the baby have been left out of the modernised show, with the villainous devil character replaced by an EU sausage inspector.
The updated themes have drawn criticism from comedian Kenn Dodd, who raged, “Punch and Judy are puppets and even children know they are puppets. They see slapstick at the circus or in pantomime, they know it’s a joke. They should keep it traditional”
Gold General Manager Steve North has defended the show, saying, “This is not a politically-correct makeover – the new show is just as anarchic and funny as it has always been, it’s simply a modern day version with modern day themes that we can all relate to.”