The unsung hero of classic British sitcom Are You Being Served? is to finally star in his own BBC spin-off.
Mrs Slocombe's cat --- real name Dave --- was discovered in an Indian circus by life-long fan Bob Manning.
Bob, who runs a mini railway in Blackpool, was on holiday with wife Babs when he spotted the ageing moggy being paraded around the ring as "Fritz the Freak" (on account of his age) by clown Dizzy Darpak .
"It was heartbreaking to see one of our veteran sitcom stars being treated like that," said the worried dad of four, "Babs and I just couldn't leave him there so we paid 12 Rupees for him and brought him home."
Bob and Babs - chairman and secretary of the Blackpool "Are You Being Served?" fan club - first spotted the legendary moggy at a sitcom convention in 1983.
Dave added: "He's a striking cat - very easily identifiable - so there was no doubt in my mind that it was him being dragged around the ring by that halfwit clown. We had no choice but to liberate him."
Dave - now a natural phenomenon at 25 - was on the BBC books and was always willing to appear with Mollie Sugden but the opportunity never arose.
When 'Are You Being Served?' went off the air in 1983, he starred in a couple of cat food commercials before disappearing into the showbiz hinterland.
However, thanks to kindly Bob and Babs, he is gearing up for a reunion with veteran actress Sugden in the new BBC spin-off "My Pussy Lives!"
The plot centres on an ageing Mrs Slocombe who has taken up residency in an old folks home post Grace Brothers.
She is horrified to discover the great British public believed references to her pussy is simply a crude attempt to get cheap laughs, little realising he is in fact alive and well and living in her airing cupboard.
On her new role - and the possibility of being reunited with Dave - Mollie said: "I badgered the producers of 'Are You Being Served?' to finally unmask Mrs Slocombe's pussy but they refused point blank - too many cheap laughs at stake, they said
"I am delighted that Dave, the finest feline actor of his generation, is finally having a shot at stardom after all these years. I look forward to working with him again...he's a comic genius."
Dave, currently living in Blackpool's South Shore with Bob and Babs, will be put up in a Travel Inn in London when filming begins in October.