Bob the Builder leaves ‘childhoods ruined’ after people learn what he looks like now

Childhood fans of the popular cartoon have responded with outrage after finding out that Bob no longer looks like the portly, middle-aged handyman they grew up with

Photo shows old Bob on the phone
Bob the Builder used to look very different…

Childhood fans of Bob the Builder have been left feeling disturbed after learning what the famous TV character looks like now.

The popular cartoon handyman has been on our screens for over 30 years – but he’s changed a lot in the last few years.

Debuting in 1988, Bob has been a central figure in children’s television ever since, forming countless kids’ toys, a TV series, books and even a number one music single.

Ask ‘can we fix it?’ in any social setting and it’s a near guarantee that everyone in the room will know to answer ‘yes we can’.

But after seeing what the kids’ favourite builder looks like now thanks to a viral post on Twitter, the majority of diehard fans seem to agree – if it ain’t broke, don’t.

The Bob of 2022 looks a lot different to what 90s and 00s kids will remember



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The Bob of 2022 is a lot taller, slimmer and younger-looking than the one 90s and 00s kids came to love – and he’s ditched his old denim dungarees too.

The friendly contractor still dons a yellow and orange checked shirt and yellow helmet, but has upgraded to more fashionable jeans, a sleeveless high-vis jacket and a sports watch.

But the changes have proved too much to bear for many who grew up with the old Bob, with comments describing the updated look as a “travesty” and even a “living nightmare”.

Sharing before and after pictures of the character on Twitter, an account called No Context Brits wrote: “Look how they massacred my boy.”

This was met with hundreds of retweets and replies from outraged former viewers, many joking that their childhoods had been ruined.

One fan described the revamp as one of the “top 10 biggest downgrades in TV history”, while someone else commented: “I’m going to be sick.”

Another person wrote: “Things like this keep me awake at night.”

Another said bluntly: “Can they fix it? No, they broke it instead.”

The old Bob the Builder, with Scoop the digger and Pilchard the cat


Press Association)

“Why does he look 12?” asked one disturbed Twitter user. “He is a successfully self-employed builder – he’s got his life together he should look at least 35 like he used to.”

A further comment read: “He went from being a man of the people to looking like a local MP trying to blend in.”

And another person took particular offence to the current designers giving the character eyebrows, saying: “They gave him ****ing eyebrows! Tragic.”

Even the original designer of Bob the Builder, Curtis Jobling, responded to the outcry, tweeting: “*raises hand* Designer of the original Bob here. Appreciating the love.”

What former fans might not realise is that Bob’s new look isn’t actually that new – he’s looked this way for seven years.

In October 2014, Bob the Builder was revamped by Mattel for a new series to be aired the following year.

After modernising Thomas The Tank Engine and Fireman Sam, the toymakers turned their attention to the fixer of all, Bob.

Responding to the initial uproar when the shake-up was first announced, HIT Entertainment said Bob was still the same “warm and friendly” character, but admitted it would take time for fans to adjust to his top-to-toe makeover. Perhaps another few years will do it?

Christopher Kennan, vice president and executive producer at HIT Entertainment, was quoted as saying at the time: “While the new series retains the emotional warmth that has always given Bob the Builder a firm place in the hearts of young viewers, it’s now packed with more humour than ever before.”

The cartoon (featuring the new-look Bob) is still aired on weekday mornings on Channel 5’s Milkshake!.

What do you think of Bob’s look? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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