bagpuss bagpuss

Oliver Postgate, RIP


The BBC reports that British animator and TV show creator Oliver Postgate has passed away at age 83. He’s responsible for TV series like Ivor the Engine, the Clangers, the Pogles, Noggin the Nog and Pingwings (which I wrote about on the Brew last year). Many of these shows are beloved in his native England though they remain largely unknown outside of the UK. A short video in the BBC link above explains that Postgate’s earliest animated shows were created in a horse stable with minuscule budgets and homemade equipment.

Here are a few examples of Postgate’s work:

(Thanks, Will Kane and Ed Kirk)

  • Strange, I had an overwhelming urge to watch some Bagpuss clips on youtube only yesterday. These shows have stayed with me all my life, and they always bring back fond memories. RIP Mr. Postgate.

  • That’s very sad news. I have Mr Postgate to thank for many of my strongest memories of early childhood. His work was thoughtful, imaginative, and genuinely magical in ways so lacking from today’s children’s shows. I heard him interviewed quite recently on BBC radio and he was clearly still a very intelligent, very modest, and thoroughly decent man. He’ll be sadly missed. Thanks Amid for acknowledging his achievements here.

  • Neil Williams

    When i went to the International Animation Festival in Cardiff 1997. Oliver Postgate & Peter Firmin gave a talk about their films and stories it was definitely the highlight for me .They brought original puppets of Bagpuss and The Clangers which they were happy to hand around.
    Fantastic storyteller with a wonderful voice.

  • Mark H Wilkinson

    There are no words to express how deeply ingrained Postgate’s work was in British popular culture. It even turned up in “Doctor Who”:

  • Cyber Fox

    The Christmas season is a sad time to die, Joe Barbera died during it a few years ago

    Even though it’s a pity that the US never got to see his works, I am from the US and i had the opportunity to see his works on YouTube but mostly it’s just episodes of “The Clangers” as i find the show very interesting

    Oliver Postgate will be missed

  • tom

    Aw hell. I was talking about the Pingwings to another artist only a few days ago. I’m not even a Brit- I think you turned me on to the Pingwings here, Amid- but I immediately took to the whole sweet sincerity of the project. What a talent!

    So long, Oliver. Thanks for all the great work.

  • This is too sad, not just because of a great man passing, but because his work represents a lost way of thinking.
    Postgate’s career can be viewed as an instance of a large corporation trusting implicitly in the vision of a single talent, or creative team, and agreeing to broadcast that vision unsullied for the enjoyment and education of children.
    There are so many devices in place now to preclude everything that made his work and his work with Peter Firmin such a joy.

    For the average Joe Britain, this is about as big a loss as they come.


  • Oliver Postgate was one of the top figures in a Golden Age of UK children’s shows. A time driven by creativity and a love of fun and all things silly. A time when the primary goal was to put smiles on the faces of children.

    He is, and always will be, one of the greats and has influenced a generation of artists and dreamers and indeed anyone with an ounce of imagination.

    If it weren’t for Mr. Postgate, I may well have been an accountant.

  • ab

    A real inspiration, both in his art and approach to life. Profits from the sale of Bagpuss merchandise were donated to a Romanian orphanage – more proof if it were needed of Postgate’s empathy with children.
    I can’t put into words how much I respect and admire this man and his talent, a real loss.

  • Mac

    I was sad to hear this yesterday. These children’s television programmes are really something special. Each one was very unique with unusual ideas, stories and characters. They are so deceptively simple it is easy for a lot of people to underestimate how clever they actually are until you stop and think about how many original ideas were poured into these things. Each one is visually unique and so full of love, care and often a special kind of gentleness which is never sappy or sickly sweet. It’s not hard to see why they are so beloved here in England.