Oliver Postgate was the creator of much-loved children's TV series of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including Bagpuss and The Clangers. He has died at the age of 83.
Throughout his career, Postgate (l) worked alongside artist and puppeteer Peter Firmin (r). They produced short films – in a disused cowshed in Kent – under the name Smallfilms. Pic courtesy Smallfilms.
The first Smallfilms venture - in 1959 - was Ivor the Engine, for ITV. Using simple cardboard cut-outs, it told the story of a Welsh steam engine who wanted to sing in a choir. Pic courtesy Smallfilms.
Ivor the Engine, whose friends included station master Dai Station and Ivor’s driver, Edwin Jones, was remade in colour for the BBC in the 1970s. Pic courtesy Smallfilms.
Their next production was Noggin the Nog. As with all their adventures, Firmin produced the artwork while Postgate filmed, wrote scripts and provided many of the voices. Pic courtesy Smallfilms.
The Clangers, who first appeared on the BBC in 1969, were knitted pink creatures whose voices were created by whistles. They lived on a small moon and salvaged space junk. Pic courtesy Smallfilms.
The most popular Smallfilms creation of all was pink-and-white striped cat Bagpuss. First shown in 1974, the 13 episodes of the series were repeated over and over again until 1987. Pic courtesy Smallfilms.
Friends of Bagpuss, who lived in a repair shop, included Professor Yaffle, a mechanical bird with the catchphrase “fiddlesticks and flapdoodle”. Pic courtesy Smallfilms.
Rag doll Madeleine, who never moved from her wicker chair, told stories, sang songs and acted as a mother figure to the mischievous mice. Pic courtesy Smallfilms.