LONDON - Children's TV show Peppa Pig now features a lesbian couple among its much-loved cast of characters, in a development hailed by rights campaigners.
In an episode called Families that aired on Britain's Channel 5 on Tuesday, Penny Polar Bear tells Peppa about her two mothers.
"One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti," Penny says. "I love spaghetti."
Mr Robbie de Santos, of LGBTQ charity Stonewall, said the same-sex family's appearance in Peppatown was "fantastic".
"Many of those who watch the show will have two mums or two dads themselves, and it will mean a lot to parents and children that their experiences are being represented on such an iconic children's programme," he told the BBC.
One Twitter user said: "An autistic character in Thomas The Tank Engine and a kid with two mums in Peppa Pig… it's been a good day for representation!"
Thomas The Tank Engine, another iconic British production also shown on Channel 5, is introducing the autistic Bruno the Brake Car later this month, in collaboration with autistic writers and campaigners.
On-screen gay representation remains controversial in some quarters, however.
In Italy, a senior member of a far-right Italian political party tipped to win general elections this month has appealed to state broadcaster Rai not to screen an episode of the series following the inclusion of a same-sex couple, Guardian reported.
The big-budget Hollywood films Thor: Love And Thunder, Lightyear and Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness have all attracted attention from censors in the Middle East for featuring gay references.
And it is not the first time Peppa Pig has attracted wider political commentary. Last November, then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost his place in a speech, and extemporised about a recent visit to a Peppa theme park during a rambling section that also saw him imitate an accelerating car. AFP