One of the creators of children’s TV favourite Bagpuss, Oliver Postgate, who lived in Broadstairs, has died aged 83.
With Peter Firmin, he brought to life the saggy cloth cat which has been voted the most popular children’s televison programme ever.
With their company Smallfilms and working from a converted cow shed at Mr Firmin’s home at Blean, near Canterbury,, the pair were also behind The Clangers, Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog among others.
Mr Postgate, who lived at Broadstairs, wrote the scripts and provided voice-overs.
Mr Firmin's daughter Emily said Mr Postgate was a huge influence on her childhood and a great character to have around while growing up.
“How great it was that my dad and Oliver met all those years ago,” she said from her home in Whitstable.
“What they created together will last for a lifetime and has touched the lives of so many people both young and old.
“Oliver was just so distinctive. With all the work they did together, you hear his voice and there’s just something that just takes you back to so many happy memories.
“Bagpuss’ voice is Oliver really, you hear that and it just says it all.”
Mr Firmin is away on holiday and Emily spoke to him on the telephone on Sunday, shortly after he heard the news of Mr Postgate's death.
“He’s obviously very shocked about it, but Oliver had been quite ill for sometime and hadn’t been able to make many public appearences and promotions.”
Only 13 episodes of Bagpuss were made in 1974, but were regularly repeated until 1987.
The saggy cloth cat now lives in the Museum of Canterbury in Stour Street, Canterbury.
Earlier this year a deal was struck with a company to produce Bagpuss merchandising but Mr Firmin insisted there were no plans for new television programmes.
The original Clangers puppets are on show at an exhibition of British animation at the Sidney Cooper Gallery in Canterbury until Saturday.
Speaking at the launch in October, Mr Firmin said of his work with Mr Postgate: “It was Oliver’s company that I worked with him on and we went right through from the sixties through to the eighties.
“We were working on a very small budget, but Oliver was able to adapt almost anything to take film, using a 16mm camera and we made pretty much everything from scratch.
“He would just tell me what he wanted and then we loosely sorted out the finances once we’d finished.”
Mr Postgate used his website to put across political views and writings.
He and Mr Firmin were both awarded honorary degrees by Kent University – taking Bagpuss along to receive them.