RIP Peter Firmin: Clangers creator dies aged 89

Nation mourns stop motion classics hero

Peter Firmin, co-creator of The Clangers, has died aged 89. Firmin also designed the puppet Basil Brush and Bagpuss.

A generation of Register readers was educated on space through the popular stop-motion British children's TV show [are you sure? – ed] which was broadcast between 1969 and 1972 (with a one-off in 1974). Firmin was also involved in the modern revival.

With Oliver Postgate, Firmin set up Smallfilms, producing a host of memorable children's TV animations including Bagpuss. Postgate wrote the scripts, while Firmin created the puppets and sets.

"Postgate and Firmin made a feature of the handmade-ness of their creations, making sure the Meccano, the clothes pegs and cocktail sticks were always on display," wrote Nicholas Blincoe in a review of the 2015 book, The Art of Smallfilms.

One of Firmin's last interviews finds him criticising the soulless quality of modern CGI animations.

Postgate died in 2008.

Firmin returned to print-making in the 1980s after his animations were no longer considered fashionable. According to The Times, he considered his career "interrupted by making television rubbish".

He died on the Kent farm where the Smallfilms shows were made. ®

Bootnote

The original Clangers provided the material for quite the best satire of moon-landing conspiracy theories ever created.




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