RONALD McDonald was the face of the fast-food chain before disappearing from the spotlight.
With a history dating back to the 1960s, the clown was often seen with his friends Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, and The Fry Kids, causing many to wonder what happened to him.
Why did McDonald's get rid of Ronald McDonald?
McDonald's first introduced Ronal McDonald in 1963 as the world’s "newest, silliest, hamburger-eating-est clown."
At first, many were skeptical of the new mascot, however, he quickly became the face of the fast-food chain and was loved by all.
Sadly, Ronald's reign came to an end in 2016, after the company announced that he would be taking a hiatus.
It followed a disturbing craze that saw pranksters jump out at people dressed as spooky clowns.
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Some wielded weapons to spread terror and the trend traveled across the globe.
It began in the US but soon took off in the UK, with police declaring it "no laughing matter".
What may have started out as a joke quickly turned sinister as one knife-wielding clown chased schoolchildren on their way to class while another lurked beneath streetlights trying to tempt kids into the woods.
A statement released by McDonald's at the time explained that due to the "current climate around clown sightings in communities," it would be doing its best to be "thoughtful in respect to Ronald McDonald’s participation in community events".
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As a result, the red-haired, face-painted figure has hardly resurfaced since.
A statement on the McDonald's website now reads: "We're afraid that Ronald McDonald no longer appears in McDonald's UK advertising, but he is still very busy working for us.
"He often travels up and down the country to help promote some of our exciting new activities and visits our restaurants to make sure everyone is enjoying their meals."
Ronald remains a figure in the Ronald McDonald House Charities Logo, but only his striped arm features.
Although the clown sightings were the main reason behind Ronald's fall from the spotlight, people have been campaigning for McDonald's to lose its mascot for years.
Critics claimed he was encouraging children to eat unhealthy foods, and in 2011, a group of 550 doctors placed newspaper adverts insisting he retires.
It read: "We ask that you stop marketing junk food to children.
"The rates of sick children are staggering. Ballooning health care costs and an overburdened health care system make treatment more difficult than ever.
"And we know that reducing junk food marketing can significantly improve the health of kids."
What is Ronald McDonald's affiliation with McDonald's?
While Ronald might not be the face of McDonald's anymore, he is still the face of Ronald McDonald House Charities UK whose mission is to keep families close together.
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They provide a "home away from home" for families of seriously ill children in hospital – a place where they can cook, sleep, be together and always be only moments away from their sick child.
Every year the charity helps more than 6,000 families stay close to their children in the hospital.
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