Peter Firmin, artist behind 'Bagpuss,' other UK shows, dies

FILE - In this file photo dated July 5, 1999, Peter Firmin, creator of the children's stop-motion television series The Clangers, who has died at the age of 89, according to a statement from the show's production company Sunday July 1, 2018. (Toby Melville/PA FILE via AP)

LONDON — Peter Firmin, the co-creator of the classic British children's TV programs "Clangers," ''Bagpuss," and "The Basil Brush Show," has died. He was 89.

Firmin's spokesman told Britain's Press Association that the puppet maker and artist died Sunday at his home in Kent in southeast England after a short illness.

The official Bagpuss Twitter feed posted the news with a photo honoring Fermin.

Firmin's distinctly crafted characters, puppets that came to life through stop-motion animation, captivated generations of children.

He created the fox Basil Brush with Ivan Owen and worked with long-time business partner Oliver Postgate on Bagpuss, The Clangers, Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog and Pogles Wood.

Floella Benjamin, who hosted children's TV shows during the 1970s and serves in Britain's House of Lords,, said Firmin strove "to create magic to stimulate kids' minds through his creative vision."

"Bagpuss" was voted the most popular BBC children's program ever made in a 1999 poll. Fermin was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2014.

He is survived by his wife, Joan, six daughters who often collaborated with him, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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