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Subject: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: Philip Eno on 12/09/08 at 5:03 am

Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Bagpuss creator Oliver Postgate has died aged 83, his family has confirmed.

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.

In a poll earlier this year, Bagpuss, a saggy pink cloth cat, was voted the best TV animal of all-time.

Postgate's partner, Naomi Linnell, confirmed he died at a nursing home near his home in Broadstairs in Kent on Monday.

Friend and colleague, Sandra Kerr, has been paying tribute to "a creative and eccentric talent".

Ms Kerr, the voice of the mice in Bagpuss, said they had so much fun working together, their giggles can be heard on the Bagpuss soundtrack.

Asked where his inspiration came from, she said: "Oliver said it himself, he was always a little boy.

"He and Peter just responded to that part of themselves they had never lost."

Conservative leader David Cameron told BBC Radio 5 Live that Ivor the Engine was his favourite of Postgate and Firmin's characters.

"I never really got the Clangers," he added. "My wife's a big Clangers fan - I never quite got that in the same way."

Postgate's work was popular with generations of children who loved the strangeness of the characters and the warmth of his story-telling.

The short animated films, which he would script and narrate, were created by Smallfilms production company, set up with Firmin.

The partners worked in a makeshift studio in a disused cowshed in Kent on a tiny budget often using home-made equipment.

Ivor the Engine, a series for ITV about a little Welsh steam engine who wanted to sing in a choir, was their first creation. The 1960s BBC series of Noggin the Nog about a baby-faced king of the race of Nogs followed.

The pair swiftly established themselves as reliable purveyors of children's entertainment, in the days when there were just two channels and children's television occupied a privileged teatime slot.

'Praise and encouragement'

Describing the commissioning process, Postgate said: "We would go to the BBC once a year, show them the films we'd made, and they would say, 'Yes, lovely, now what are you going to do next?'"

"We would tell them, and they would say, 'That sounds fine, we'll mark it in for 18 months from now', and we would be given praise and encouragement and some money in advance, and we'd just go away and do it."

Only 13 episodes of Bagpuss were made in 1974, but were regularly repeated until 1987.

London-born Postgate made his last film in 1987, complaining that children's television commissioners were no longer interested in what he had to offer.

In October this year, the rights to many of his characters were bought by company Coolbai, which said it planned to introduce Bagpuss to a new generation.



Subject: Re: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: karen on 12/09/08 at 1:57 pm

Another link to my childhood gone...  :\'(

I have vague memories of Noggin the Nog but Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and The Clangers was the stuff.

Subject: Re: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: Philip Eno on 12/09/08 at 1:58 pm


Another link to my childhood gone...  :\'(

I have vague memories of Noggin the Nog but Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine and The Clangers was the stuff.


I rang my sister and she said that I am too old for The Clangers.

Subject: Re: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: karen on 12/09/08 at 2:01 pm


I rang my sister and she said that I am too old for The Clangers.


Nooooo that's not true.  No one is too old for the Clangers.

Subject: Re: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: Philip Eno on 12/09/08 at 2:02 pm


Nooooo that's not true.  No one is too old for the Clangers.
Exactly as I said.

Yes, it is sad to see another passing of a childhood hero.

Subject: Re: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: karen on 12/09/08 at 2:06 pm

Of course Dai is a big Ivor the Engine fan

Subject: Re: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: Philip Eno on 12/09/08 at 2:09 pm


Of course Dai is a big Ivor the Engine fan
Ivor the Engine - Episode 1 on YouTube

Subject: Re: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: Paul on 12/09/08 at 2:45 pm

Very sad...RIP Oliver...

Not disregarding the amount of immense effort and intricate detail that went into making the programmes, I must confess I was never a Bagpuss fan...I found it to be mildly depressing!  :-[

Subject: Re: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: Philip Eno on 12/09/08 at 2:51 pm

On wiki...

Bagpuss is an actual cloth cat, but was not intended to be such an electric pink. "It should have been a ginger marmalade cat but the company in Folkestone dyeing the material made a mistake and it turned out pink and cream. It was the best thing that ever happened", said Peter Firmin. Bagpuss has now retired to the Rupert Bear Museum in Canterbury, UK (part of the Museum of Canterbury), together with Emily's shop window.

Subject: Re: Oliver Postgate Bagpuss and Ivor creator dies

Written By: Stompgal on 12/10/08 at 10:19 am

I read about this in today's Daily Mail and I was pretty shocked. Even though I'm only 21, I watched repeats of 'The Clangers', 'Bagpuss' and 'Ivor the Engine' on Nick Junior UK'S Nick Jr Classics block.

RIP Oliver. I enjoyed watching your creations that brightened up my childhood.  :\'(

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