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The Fat Controller

The Fat Controller is a fictional character in The Railway Series books written by Reverend W. Awdry and his son, Christopher Awdry. In the first two books in the series (The Three Railway Engines and Thomas the Tank Engine) he is known as The Fat Director, and as of the third book (James the Red Engine) he becomes The Fat Controller, as the railway has been nationalised. In the foreword to the 1951 book Henry the Green Engine, his real name is revealed to be Sir Topham Hatt. The Fat Controller also appears in the television series Thomas & Friends, adapted from the books. On television, he was usually portrayed in the form of several different static figures made with either wood or lead during series one, and resin from series two onwards, but has been portrayed using CGI from the twelfth series onward. The term "fat controller" has since been adopted in various contexts in the English language, beyond the sphere of the original stories, usually in reference to someone who runs a railway.