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Subject: TV presenter Tony Hart dies at 83

Written By: Philip Eno on 01/18/09 at 7:04 am

TV presenter Tony Hart dies at 83

Artist and children's presenter Tony Hart has died, aged 83.

Hart, who lived in Surrey, had suffered from health problems for a number of years, including two strokes. His family said he died peacefully.

Mr Hart appeared on art programmes for nearly 50 years before retiring in 2001 because of health problems.

He first appeared on Saturday Special as an illustrator before fronting his own shows such as Vision On, Take Hart and Hartbeat.

His agent, Roc Renals, said he died in the early hours of Sunday morning.

He said: "I was for many years his best friend, agent, manager and publicist. He suffered two strokes many years ago and his health declined since then."

Wilf Lunn, Hart's friend who worked with him on Vision On for nine years, said he was a television pioneer.

"His legacy was the fact he really started all these children's programmes, Art Attack and all that, and he was the guy, right at the beginning.

"And he was the guy who had all these little tricks that teachers used to use because they make things look easy, and we got people into doing it. And he was such a nice man."


The artist served as an officer in the 1st Gurkha Rifles in World War II, before joining a course at Maidstone College of Art.

Gurkha Welfare Trust director, Colonel William Shuttlewood, said Hart regularly donated pictures which were auctioned and raised "substantial" amounts of money.

He said: "I am sorry he has gone. He was a lovely chap and was very keen to make sure we were supported properly."

It was a chance meeting in 1952 with a BBC TV producer and a demonstration of his quick art skills on a paper napkin that secured his on-screen career.

Hart became resident artist on the Saturday Special programme that year.

Subsequent TV shows included Playbox, Titch and Quackers, Vision On, Take Hart, Hartbeat and Smart Hart.

From 1977 he appeared with animated clay character Morph, who lived in a pencil box. Morph was later joined by his cream-coloured colleague Chas.

Hartbeat often attracted 5.4 million viewers and Hart's mailbag varied between 6,000 and 8,000 per week.

He received two Bafta awards, won a lifetime achievement award in 1998, and also created the original design for the Blue Peter badge.

In an interview last year he said not being able to draw after suffering two strokes was the "greatest cross I have to bear."

:\'( :\'( :\'(

Subject: Re: TV presenter Tony Hart dies at 83

Written By: Paul on 01/18/09 at 7:55 am

Very sad news...

Along with the recent departure of Oliver Postgate, the 'creative' world becomes a little less creative... :\'(

Subject: Re: TV presenter Tony Hart dies at 83

Written By: Philip Eno on 01/18/09 at 10:10 am

Tony Hart he has drawn his last breath...

Subject: Re: TV presenter Tony Hart dies at 83

Written By: karen on 01/18/09 at 7:44 pm

another little piece of my childhood passes on.  :\'(

Subject: Re: TV presenter Tony Hart dies at 83

Written By: Stompgal on 01/20/09 at 12:10 pm

I heard the news about Tony's passing on Sunday. When I was younger, I watched the programmes 'Hart Beat' and 'Playbox' (a 1950s children's programme, not the programme of the same from the late 80s featuring dog and cat puppets that emerged from a box at the beginning of every episode). The loss of Tony Hart is the saddest TV presenter death since Mark Speight.

RIP Tony. I'll never forget your inspirational TV presenting and artistic talent.

Subject: Re: TV presenter Tony Hart dies at 83

Written By: Philip Eno on 01/30/09 at 4:48 am

Mourners have gathered to pay their last respects to Tony Hart, who died earlier this month, aged 83.

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