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Muffin the Mule celebrates 60th B-day

Oct. 30, 2006 at 1:29 PM

LONDON, Oct. 30 (UPI) -- The BBC's Muffin the Mule, one of Britain's first famous children's television characters, is celebrating its 60th year in the business.

The wooden puppet was introduced in the BBC program "For the Children" in 1946 and was a regular until 1955 when the shows host, Annette Mills, died, the BBC reported Monday.

The character returned to the BBC in 2005 in animated form and is watched by about 300,000 children each week.

Annette Mills was the sister of actor John Mills.

Actress Judi Dench told the BBC, "I remember how Sir John Mills was so incredibly proud of his sister Annette when Muffin became such a huge success -- and rightly so."

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