|Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate making Pogles' Wood|
Peter Firmin, creator of The Clangers and Bagpuss, will be presented with a Special Award at the British Academy Children’s Awards.
Working with long-term collaborator Oliver Postgate, who died in 2008, Firmin created the children’s TV programmes such as The Saga of Noggin the Nog, The Clangers, Ivor The Engine, Pogles’ Wood and Bagpuss. Working with Ivan Owen, he created the puppet Basil Brush.
Firmin created the puppets and sets, while Postgate wrote the scripts and did the animation. Most of the films were made in a barn on Firmin's farm in Kent.
Firmin and Postgate started producing children's programmes in 1959 with Ivor the Engine, a series for ITV about a Welsh steam engine. It was remade in colour for the BBC in the 1970s.
|Firmin with Bagpuss|
Ivor was followed in the early 1960s by the sagas of Noggin the Nog, Later they branched out into stop-motion puppet animation. These included Pogles' Wood and The Clangers, space dwelling creatures who spoke in whistles. Bagpuss, about a shop of lost and broken objects overseen by a pink and white cat was made 1974. It was voted the UK's favourite children's programme in a BBC poll in 1999.
Reflecting on his career, Firmin said; "Television has changed and developed beyond anything we could have dreamt of in the years before colour and digital and computer chips with everything, so it is touching that our work is still remembered with such affection."
Firmin will be presented with the BAFTA Special Award at this year's British Academy Children's Awards. The ceremony will take place on Sunday 23 November and the award will be presented to Firmin by Bernard Cribbins with a special introduction by Michael Palin. A new version of The Clangers is being made with Palin providing the narration and Firmin as an executive producer.
Harvey Elliott, chairman of BAFTA’s Children’s Committee said: “Peter Firmin helped lay the foundations for the industry we see today, all from his small barn in Blean. His legacy is delighting and enchanting a whole new generation with the upcoming remake of family favourite The Clangers. Over the past 50 years, Peter’s work has thrilled, entertained and inspired generations of filmmakers and animators.”