Thomas the Tank Engine fans can’t say The Fat Controller as term is ‘slur’

Thomas the Tank Engine fans have been banned from saying 'The Fat Controller' after referencing the character at a tourist attraction.

Families visiting the Watercress Line railway in Hampshire are being told to use Sir Topham Hatt's full name as the word fat is a "slur"

One father who took his family to the Day Out with Thomas event was left gobsmacked after he was addressed by a member of staff.

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“We were talking about The Fat Controller when a staff member stepped in," he said.

The popular event allows young children to hop on board Thomas the Tank Engine, reports The Sun.

Another person who visited the attraction said: “Staff said he belongs to another era.

"Common sense has hit the buffers.”

Social media users have slammed the rules, with one person stating: "'They are now coming after the Fat Controller from Thomas the Tank Engine apparently it's a slur."

Another commented: "They're cancelling Thomas the Tank Engine now?? Fat Controller was iconic, I loved him as a kid'"

TalkTV host Jeremy Kyle added: “Know the bloke who controls the Thomas the Tank Engine trains? The Fat Controller.

"But you can’t say that any more.”

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A spokeswoman for Watercress Line told MailOnline that they are no longer using the name following the show's revamp – which includes gender-balanced characters.

She said: "With the updates to the show, Sir Topham Hatt will now be referred to by his formal name, and we are no longer referencing him as The Fat Controller.

"While this is a fond nickname for past generations of fans, and will remain a cherished aspect of past episodes and books, going forward we do not want to encourage our young preschool audience to use names that could be considered disparaging towards others.

"We are sorry if this was shared insensitively with customers on their recent visit to Day Out With Thomas at The Watercress Line."

The Daily Star has contacted Watercress Line for comment.

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