Monday, 19 January 2009

Tony Hart

And so, another icon of my childhood has passed away.

Tony Hart died over the weekend, at the age of 83. A pioneer of children's broadcasting, how you remember him will depend on your age and the television programmes you watched: for me, this will always be Vision On, where his quick-draw skills and often huge, bright and imaginative paintings inspired a whole generation to enjoy making art.

After Vision On, he starred in his own show, Take Hart. With his delightfully animated side-kick, Morph, this was aimed more directly at encouraging young people in creating art of their own. Less well known was the fact that he designed the original Blue Peter badge - another icon. His was a warm, gentle and yet highly creative form of television which, alongside that of Oliver Postgate (creator of the Clangers and Bagpuss), helped to define 1970s childrens' television.

Although Hart won two Baftas and a lifetime achievement award, as with Postgate, his work provides the most fitting memorial and tribute to his abilities.

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