Fat Cat and Friends is an Australian children's television show starring central character Fat Cat (full name: Frederick Alphonso Tubsy Cat or Francis Aloysius Tom Cat), a costumed character, who is an orange/ginger anthropomorphic cat who wears red braces, a blue bow tie and a green bowler hat and striped socks. The show is similar in concept to Here's Humphrey featuring Humphrey B. Bear. The program would feature resident music artist Patsy Biscoe, who would go on to record numerous kids album, as well as main hostess Lynn Weston, who would later host children's show The Book Place. The show was cancelled in 1991, however the Fat Cat character continues to feature on television in Perth as the mascot of Telethon fundraising organization.
Production and broadcasting
The Magic Circle Club, actor/writer Max Bartlett continued to work in television production, moving to Western Australia, after the latter show was cancelled where he helped to develop the character of "Fat Cat" as well as the children's series, "The Underground Video Show". The character still says goodnight to Perth children on television at 7.30 each night.
"Fat Cat and Friends" was then produced in the studios of Network 10 Adelaide and it survived the 1987 frequency switch of channels 10 & 7 in Adelaide. It was written, directed and produced by Murray George for 13 years. It was then produced by Channel 10. The show ran on the 0-10 Network (as it was then known) from 1972 until 1987, then on the Seven Network until it was cancelled in 1991 after the Australian Broadcasting Tribunal claimed that the program was not educational enough and was "not clearly defined and might confuse the young". There was also a question of gender—namely, that Fat Cat did not appear to have one. The character being mute was also a clear issue despite the precedent of Humphrey B. Bear
During the 1990s, Fat Cat often appeared on celebrity versions of the then Adelaide produced Wheel of Fortune. As Fat Cat did not speak he was usually paired up with Channel 7's resident puppet Agro who was the mouthpiece for the duo.
Fat Cat was originally played by Reg Whiteman for more than a decade. Fat Cat was then played by Ralf Hadzic for five years. Fat Cat was then played by Melanie George (1980–1985) who is now a freelance choreographer. Robert Fordham played Fat Cat from 1994 and performed on 3 of the Fat Cat Storytime videos. The character was later played off screen by a male friend Damien of the show's musician, singer Patsie Biscoe
Initially slated for release as a sidekick to Fat Cat, the character of 'Stringbean' was originally played in the first month of screening by veteran comedic actor 'Nudge McGee'.