In between producing both series of Postman Pat, series 1 in 1981 and series 2 in 1997, Ivor started to use Pat in a whole new way. Both Ivor and his wife Josiane were determined to crack the French educational market and Postman Pat was the man to help them do this.
With strong roots in France from his early life and years creating the Magic Roundabout it was only a matter of time before Ivor produced something else, specific, for the French audience. His and Woodlands idea was simple, to create a show that helped French children learn English. With their friend Robert Maniquant and a little help from Joe Hambrook at the BBC they set about creating Postman Pat EFL (English for Foreign Language), as Josiane briefly goes onto explain.
Ivor used shots from the (first) series to adapt to the programme, dialogues were carefully done with Robert and new recordings made. It had been quite difficult and involved. Robert got the distribution rights and managed to get Postman Pat EFL at la FNAC and also distributing the videos himself.
From this small description and in talking to Josiane it really was a labour of love and something they all wanted to achieve success. Woodland went onto release 2 Postman Pat EFL videos, of which you can see pictured, comprising of 26 x 5 minute episodes. As part of ‘an innovative multi-media package’ one even had an Ivor illustrated booklet to go along with it. More of which next week. At this time there would only have been a hint at producing a 2nd series of Postman Pat and to Ivor this may have seemed like Pat’s last foray into the world as he was not keen on producing a 2nd series. Even though it is a re-edit of existing animation it is still a testament to Ivor, Josiane and the team at Woodland to push the boundaries in what they set out to achieve and to always look for new and interesting ways to develop their content.