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Lasting Tribute page for OLIVER POSTGATE
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Creative genius of children's television Oliver Postgate, died aged 83 on 8 December, 2008, after a long illness. He created some of the best-loved characters with a list of credits that includes Ivor the Engine, the Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Pogles' Wood. But probably his best-loved and most endearing character was a pink and white striped cat, Bagpuss, hailed at the start of the 1974 television programems as: "The most important, the most beautiful, the most magical saggy old cloth cat in the whole wide world". His work, often with puppeteer Peter Firmin, was screened by the BBC from the 1950s to the 1980s. They worked together on a former farm under the Smallfilms title, their first work being a set of stories called Alexander the Mouse, made in a converted cowshed and using magnets to move the characters. Oliver worked with Peter Firmin for 14 years in all, most memorably on Bagpuss, with Peter's daughter Emily as the little girl who appears in the opening titles of all the episodes. The stories centred around broken object being brought to her shop to be mended and sold on. Characters include Madeleine the rag-doll, Gabriel the Toad, Professor Yaffle and the mice from the marvellous mechanical mouse organ. Peter Firmin said: "I created the visual character of Bagpuss after I had the idea of a cat with visible thoughts, but it was Oliver who breathed life into the creation by supplying his thoughts and voice." There were just 13 episodes, which the BBC repeated 27 times over 16 years, before the series was pulled from schedules for being too old fashioned. Despite that, Bagpuss has been voted a top children's television programme in numerous polls in the years since. Ivor the Engine was one of the first animated films out of the Smallfilms stable, with a series of five being made by Associated Rediffusion in 1959, with 26 more to follow. A series of 40 was remade in colour in the mid-1970s. Five Sagas of Noggin the Nog were made in black and white for the BBC between 1959 and 1965, the viking and other Postgate favourites enjoyed a revival through the work of fan club The Dragons' Friendly Society. The Clangers series were made in 1969 and 1971, showing moon mice who lived beneath the surface with their burrow protected by dustbin lids. Twenty-six episodes were made. A six-episode series called The Pogles was made in 1964 but the serial (which explained how Pippin came to live with Mr and Mrs Pogle) was only screened once before being deemed too frightening for a pre-school audience. The characters returned - including Tog and Plant - in Pogles' Wood and 25 less scarey episodes were made for Watch with Mother. Mr Postgate, born in 1925 in Hendon, Middlesex, lived his later years in Kent. He was the cousin of actress Angela Lansbury and the grandson of politician George Lansbury. He was a conscientious objector during the Second World War, avoiding prison by agreeing to become a stretcher bearer for the Red Cross. Oliver married Prudence Myers in 1957, becoming stepfather to three children before the couple had twins and then a son. Prudence died in 1982. His outspoken political views also saw him become an anti-nuclear campaigner and more recently a blogger for New Statesman magazine. Bagpuss itself has been subject to theories of being a political allegory. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Kent at Canterbury in 1987. His autobiography, Seeing Things, was published in 2000.
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Viewed by: 1264 visitors. Uploaded: 9 years ago
Published in: Online.
Published from: December 09, 2008.
Region: National
Left by Pogle: 29/08/2010
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Left by Marian Postgate :
When we saw that Oliver Postgate had died my wife and I wept as if we had lost a dear friend. We had. Although we never got to meet him we felt that we had known him all our lives. Through his wonderful work he nurtured us, soothed us with his beautiful voice, and delighted us through our childhoods - inspiring our imaginations and guiding our sense of right and wrong. In adulthood we've found his creations every bit as wonderful, maybe even more so, and without even the excuse of having our own children to share them with!In fact one of the significant things in knowing we were meant for each other was when we realised what Postgate and Firmin fans we were. References from his work have become part of our personal vocabulary, and when we were testing our compatibility further by compiling a list of 10 people to form a committee to run the world, Oliver Postgate was high on both our lists. We are sorry to say that we shall never see his like again. Like the greatest artists he probably didn't fully acknowledge what he achieved, but he made us the people we are.
Left by Simon Wagener: 22/01/2009
That magnificent voice that drew me into such different worlds, the four year old boy I was adored Ivor the Engine and the terrific ( but hammy in hindsight) Welsh accents. Noggin the Nog held me spellbound and his styling and craft that gave children and parents a lovely shared experience. May he Rest In Peace
Left by Steve Rainbow: 21/01/2009
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