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The Child Catcher is the supporting antagonist of the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and in the later stage musical adaptation. The character was created by the film's screenwriter, Roald Dahl, and did not appear in the original Ian Fleming book. The Child Catcher is employed by Baron Bomburst and Baroness Bomburst to snatch and imprison children on the streets of Vulgaria.
In the 1968 film, he was played by ballet dancer Sir Robert Helpmann. In the theatrical version in London, he was played by Richard O'Brien and Wayne Sleep, and on Broadway, he was played by Kevin Cahoon. In the Australian theatrical version, he was played by Tyler Coppin who wrote and performs a solo show about Sir Robert Helpmann called LyreBird (Tales of Helpmann).
The Child Catcher on stage
On stage the childcatcher has been played by
- Richard O'Brien
- Ashley Elkin
- Paul O'Grady
- Peter Polycarpou
- Derek Griffiths
- Wayne Sleep
- Peter Bristow
- Lionel Blair
- Stephen Gately
- Alvin Stardust
- Kevin Kennedy
- Ian Watkins
- Christopher Timothy
- Tyler Coppin
In the latest UK tour, the character features far less than in the original UK tour and in the London Palladium production. The actor playing the Child Catcher in the show now also plays the minor role of the Junkman at the start of the show.
The Child Catcher also appeared in the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony in London during a segment dedicated to classic villains of children's literature. He appeared alongside inflatable representations of Cruella de Vil, Lord Voldemort, The Queen of Hearts and Captain Hook. He is noticeably the only villain not to be an inflatable replica.
In August 2013, Paul Wilder, a volunteer charity Child Catcher performer was banned from any more performances at a festival due to being too scary. 
- The Child Catcher was the inspiration for Marilyn Manson's Smells Like Children EP. The title and cover art, as well as Manson's outfit and appearance during the album, reference the Robert Helpmann character.
- In 2005, the Child Catcher was voted "the scariest villain in children's books", despite not actually featuring in the original book.
- In 2009, the Child Catcher, character originally created by Roald Dahl, was voted the seventh scariest character, in an adult poll carried out by Penguin Books.
- Despite his character opposing children in the film, his actor, Robert Helpmann loved kids, Jeremy and Jemimah's performers Heather Ripley and Adrian Hall said that unlike his movie character the Child Catcher, Robert Helpmann was a very generous and kind man. They both attended Helpmann's funeral in the 1980s in Australia.