It appears that 'Creature Discomforts' will be the last production of its kind to be shown on the small screen. After the 2005 fire in Bristol where Aardman Animations are based, an even more serious threat to their survival is happening. There is a worldwide shortage of plasticine.
Plasticine has been used since its discovery in 1904 by a German Chemistry professor from Berlin, Herr von Aldi. He noticed that mushrooms growing in a cave in St Moritz secreted a very pliable substance, that when mixed with cornflour became quite malleable, yet also firm.
Early 20th Century man used it to 'wax' their moustaches and it is believed that 'Spoofmeister' Mark Lowton has a pot of it in his bedside cabinet. It has been used in many other applications too - the most common of which, is explosives - many bullets, mortars, rockets and missiles use the substance in their production. It has only been used for entertainment purposes since the '70s when Morph appeared on 'Vision On' in animated sketches.
Since ammunition has been produced by the ton each day it was only a matter of time when the resource would run out. Aardman are currently in negotiations with the Russians to buy the entire Soviet Submarine fleet, slowly rusting away at Murmansk, as torpedoes are a rich supply of plasticine.
Nick Park, creator of Wallace & Gromit, told In Seine News "After the fire, we came back; like a Phoenix rising from the ashes an we are determined to find a solution to this situation. Even now, Wallace is hard at work in the cellar trying to invent a substitute. Of course, to get the stuff patented could take several years. We can wait, time is on our side, but we are very concerned about Peter Sallis; time is not on the dear fellow's side and I'm afraid that we shall have to make the world's first silent animated movie! I think we should call it 'Wallace & Gromit are Lost for Words'."
Both Gromit and Shaun the Sheep refused to comment.