Friday, 14 October 2011


The Story Behind UK’s Popular Bagpuss Show

Bagpuss was a charming children’s show in the UK, which got its start in 1974. The wonderful collaboration of Peter Firmin and Oliver Postage would again be utilized, to bring this wonderful storyline to the children of the UK. Peter Firmin and Oliver Postage had worked together on many previous shows in the past for children. Such as the loved and well-received: The Clangers, Ivor the Engine, and Noggin the Nog.
Oliver got his start in television as a stage manager in 1957 at Associated Rediffusion. Most of the children’s programs had a miniscule budget then, of 100 pounds approximately, for each five to ten minute show. This being not a lot to work with in the creation of a children’s show, the makers had to get more creative, to produce one on these small budgets. Being exposed to the children’s programming of that era, Oliver thought that he could do it better. History would show that he and Peter did indeed do it better.
Peter and Oliver would then begin collaborating together, on some of these fantastic ideas they came up with for children’s programs. It’s amazing to think, that these two creative and talented gentlemen, believed that they could take these wonderful story ideas, and actually turn them into television shows. Some of these shows were actually filmed in Peter’s cowshed. Some were filmed with the characters having magnets on their underside to help make them move. Or pins were used to help make the characters move. From that they progressed to making these shows with film. They would reposition the characters shot by shot, on an animation table that Oliver made in his bedroom.
The creation of Bagpuss was the brainchild of Peter Firmin. The original idea Peter had for this story, was centered around an Indian Army Cat in a children’s hospital in Poonah. The original story line was that when the cat told the children stories, they would magically appear above his head. They were buggered if they were going to be able to deal with having live children in the cowshed, where they were to make the show. So instead Bagpuss would be put into a shop window. Bagpuss would be joined by the characters Madeline, a rag doll, the toad, Gabriel, Professor Yaffle and various mice.
Bagpuss originally, was supposed to be a marmalade cat but due to an accident at where they were ordering the material from, they ended up with a cream and shocking pink striped cat. So this pink and cream striped cat would proceed to thrill UK children, by coming to life in this shop. They would especially come to life, when the child Emily would need toys mended. Bagpuss would go on to make 13 episodes. Bagpuss along with Peter and Oliver would then go to the University of Kent, to receive a Masters in Art award. Then in 1999, it would receive an award for the best children’s film ever. Some of the money they made from Bagpuss would be used to make a children’s hospice in Romania.
These are fully Microwavable and when heated the scent of lavender is just lovely.