The sad news today that Oliver Postgate shedbased animating genius has passed away.
Bagpuss creator Oliver Postgate has died aged 83, his family has confirmed.
Mr Postgate, who lived in Kent, created some of the best-loved children’s TV series including Ivor the Engine, the Clangers and Noggin the Nog.
His work, screened on the BBC and ITV from the 1950s to the present day, was often in collaboration with the artist and puppeteer Peter Firmin.
Setting up their business in a disused cowshed near Canterbury, Kent, Postgate and Firmin worked on children’s animation programmes. Based on concepts which mostly originated with Postgate, while while Firmin did the artwork and built the models; Postgate wrote the scripts, did the stop motion filming and many of the voices. Smallfilms was resultantly able to produce two minutes of film a day, ten times as much as a conventional animation studio, with Postgate moving the cardboard pieces himself, and working his 16mm camera frame-by-frame with a home-made clicker. As Postgate wholly voiced many of the productions, including the WereBear story tapes, his distinctive voice became familiar to generations of children.
They started in 1959 with Ivor the Engine, a series for ITV about a Welsh steam engine who wanted to sing in a choir; it was remade in colour for the BBC in the 1970s. This was followed by Noggin the Nog for the BBC, which established Smallfilms as a safe and reliable pair of hands to produce children’s entertainment, when there were only two UK television channels.
Growing up Ivor the Engine was my favourite as he was to many a thirtysomething… I loved the dragon, who sounded like my auntie!