A life on film: Oliver Postgate's creations

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The Independent Culture

Some of British television's best-loved children's programmes were created by Oliver Postgate, who has died at the age of 83 at a nursing home near his home in Broadstairs, Kent.

They included:

:: Bagpuss: Only 13 episodes were made in 1974 of this classic programme featuring an "old, saggy cloth cat" as its title character.

The programmes were made using a stop-frame animation and always started through a series of sepia photographs.

Viewers are told of a little girl called Emily, played by Postgate's creative partner Peter Firmin's daughter, who owned a shop which did not sell anything.

Earlier this year, Bagpuss was voted Britain's best-loved children's television character.

:: Ivor the Engine: Ivor was first made as a set of six black and white films for Associated Rediffusion Ltd in 1959, which was followed by 26 more in the following four years.

In 1975, they were remade in colour for the BBC as a set of 40 five-minute films. Ivor the Engine was the first production of Smallfilms, the company set up by Postgate and Firmin.

Featuring the adventures of a small green locomotive in Wales, it was animated using cardboard cutouts painted with watercolours.

:: Noggin the Nog: Based around a simple prince called Noggin, Noggin the Nog was spawned by Peter Firmin in 1959.

He showed the finished story to Postgate, who fell for the characters and set about scripting the story.

It was commissioned by the BBC as six 10-minute animated films produced by Postgate and drawn by Firmin, with music by Vernon Elliott and narration by Postgate and Ronnie Stevens.

Noggin's heyday lasted from his creation through to the mid-1970s. It was revived by some colour versions in 1980 and since then there has been reprints of books, issues of audio cassettes, videos and repeats on Channel 4 in the mid-1990s.

:: Pingwings: This series starred a family of penguin-like creatures who lived at the back of a barn on Berrydown Farm in the early 1960s.

Eighteen single-frame puppet films were made about them. The characters were knitted by Firmin's sister, Gloria, and the series was filmed on 16mm black and white film.

:: Pogles' Wood: The Pogles were quiet country folk who lived in the root of a tree and were made up of four main characters: Mr Pogle, Mrs Pogle, Pippin and his playmate, a rabbit-type creature called Tog.

The animated series was screened by the BBC between 1966 and 1968 as part of the Watch with Mother series.

:: The Clangers: When colour came to television in the late 1960s, the BBC asked for a set of films which were modern and colourful.

Faced with such a request, Postgate and Firmin devised the Clangers, with the first episode being broadcast by the BBC in November 1969 - the year man landed on the moon.

A further 25 episodes were screened between then and 1972, with the final Clangers programme screened as an election special in October 1974.

The classic series featured small bright pink, long-nosed, mouse-shaped creatures who lived in peace on, and inside, a small, hollow planet and communicated in high-pitched whistles.