Bagpuss and Clangers co-creator Peter Firmin dies aged 89
- Credit: Archant
The man behind childhood favourites such as Bagpuss, Basil Brush and the Clangers has died aged 89.
Peter Firmin, who was born in Harwich in 1928, brought joy to generations of children with his skilfully-crafted animated creations.
His spokesman, who confirmed he died at his home in Kent today after a short illness, said: “During a career spanning over six decades, Peter worked with great skill in a remarkably wide variety of creative disciplines as a fine artist, craftsman and author.
“Of all his work, he will probably be most fondly remembered for the characters he co-created and made.”
He created the cheeky fox Basil Brush with Ivan Owen and worked with long-time business partner Oliver Postgate on Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine, The Clangers and Noggin the Nog.
Mr Firmin was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Essex in 2012.
Students graduated alongside him and Bagpuss, who he brought along to the ceremony.
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Bosses at the university tweeted: “Our thoughts are with Peter Firmin’s family today. An inspirational honorary graduate who inspired our graduates (and so many others) with his kindness, creativity and gentle humour.”
Mr Firmin is probably best known for The Clangers, complete with its pink, long-nosed, knitted mouse-shaped creatures living on a small blue planet not far from Earth.
The popular BBC programme first appeared on screens in 1969, and it was relaunched three years ago – much to Mr Firmin’s delight.
Alice Webb, director of BBC children’s programmes, said: “Peter helped to bring to life some of the most iconic children’s programmes of a generation. “Working together on the relaunch of The Clangers it was clear to see he hadn’t lost any of his trademark talent or passion.
“A remarkable man with an incredible ability to create wonderful characters that children have adored for decades he will be fondly remembered and sorely missed.”
He is survived by his wife Joan and his six daughters, who often collaborated on many of his works, plus his many grandchildren and great grandchildren.