Peter Firmin

Foxbat

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#1
The name may not be too familiar but those of us of a certain age will remember his creations: The Clangers, Bagpuss, Noggin The Nog, Ivor The Engine and Basil Brush. They were a part of my childhood and, I suspect, part of other childhoods on this forum.

I can still remember my favourite Basil Brush sketch.

Basil is on holiday in France with his pal (can't remember who this was).
'Are you enjoying the holiday?' asks the pal.
'Yes,' Basil replies. 'Pity about all those foreigners though.'
'No, Basil,' his pal retorts, 'In France, you're the foreigner.'
'I'm not a foreigner,' Basil cries in horror, 'I'm English!'

It still makes me smile. No doubt if Basil were created today he'd be called Basil Brexiteer:)

Rest In Peace Peter Firmin. You were the very essence of 1970s childrens TV:cry:

Clangers and Bagpuss co-creator dies
 

The Judge

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#3
Very sad news, and another edifice of my childhood tumbling down. Noggin the Nog was magical, and even now my spine tingles at the music and I don't think those opening words could be bettered: "In the lands of the North, where the Black Rocks stand guard against the cold sea..."

As for Basil, he's still going strong I understand -- I saw a clip of him being interviewed on the TV the other day giving his opinion on the World Cup, but he's voiced by someone new and wasn't nearly as cultivated and charming as he used to be.
 

Toby Frost

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#4
I grew up with the Clangers and Bagpuss (sadly, not literally) and I agree that this is a great loss. Firmin's work was terrifically imaginative and beautifully constructed. As well as the skill of his work, there's a kindly reasonableness to the Smallfilms creations, that somehow feels both sensible and very whimsical.

Here is Charlie Brooker talking about the death of Firmin's colleague, Oliver Postgate, a few years ago.

 

Harpo

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#5
A very sad loss indeed. I have been in the presence of Bagpuss and his friends, at the Museum of Television & Film , in Bradford, and it was a very special moment.

*does the Bagpuss yawn*
 

HareBrain

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#6
My party piece used to be a near-perfect (if I say so myself) impression of Charlie Mouse piping "Breadcrumbs and butterbeans! That's how you make chocolate biscuits. Breadcrumbs and butterbeans!!"
 

aThenian

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#7
My party piece used to be a near-perfect (if I say so myself) impression of Charlie Mouse piping "Breadcrumbs and butterbeans! That's how you make chocolate biscuits. Breadcrumbs and butterbeans!!"
That's my favourite Bagpuss episode - so wonderful, both the idea of the endlessly productive digestive biscuit-making mouse mill, and the revelation of the con!

Ivor the Engine is wonderful too, and very restful to watch. The only problem is that, unlike modern children's TV, the episodes seem to be random lengths...not ideal for pre-bed time small child treat.
 

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