In a fiction mirrors reality moment, Bob the Builder is broke.

Neil Morrissey, the British actor whose voice is that of Bob the Builder in the original children’s television show, has told "News of the World" that he is 2.5 millions pounds in debt after a property scheme he invested in collapsed.

Morrissey, who also stars in the popular British television show “Men Behaving Badly” and performs on stage in London’s West End, said he has struck an agreement to funnel all his earnings for more than three years, minus living expenses, toward paying off his debts to creditors.

Morrissey said he felt “morally obliged” to pay his creditors rather than declare bankruptcy.

“I decided, no, I’d step up to the plate, try to do the right thing and get everyone their money back,” he said. “Now I’m working very, very hard every second out there to earn another penny. I don’t sit around and get depressed about things, it’s not my character.”

That kind of upbeat behavior you'd expect from Bob the Builder whose catch phrase, familiar to television-watching toddlers and their weary parents everywhere is: “Can we build it? Yes we can!”

One might wonder whether the children’s television show might mine Morrissey’s predicament for material. Will his business partner, Wendy, have to negotiate with the banks to keep their line of credit open? Or will they have to sell Scoop the backhoe to make payroll?

Or, better yet, perhaps laying off Lofty, the whiny blue crane, would be a better move. Whatever happens, parents had better hope that Bob can still afford Dizzy the concrete mixer’s Ritalin.

And for those builders who occasionally think that pubs might have been a better investment than home construction because, at least they would be able to drink at cost, consider that Morrissey’s investments were in a string of hotels and pubs.

Teresa Burney is a senior editor with Builder and Big Builder magazines.