Peter Firmin, the creator of animated children’s TV shows, passed away on 1 July at the age of 89. He co-owned several beloved stop-motion characters like the Clangers, Bagpuss and Basil Brush.
Clangers production company Coolabi confirmed Firmin’s death in a statement which noted, “We are sad to announce that the artist Peter Firmin has passed away at his home in Kent after a short illness. He was 89. During a career spanning over six decades, Peter worked with great skill in a remarkably wide variety of creative disciplines as a fine artist, craftsman, and author.”
Born in 1928 in Essex County, Firmin studied at the Colchester School of Art, and then the Central School of Art and Design in London after his service with the Royal Navy. While working as a teacher at the Central School, he met Oliver Postgate, and the two formed the enterprising production company Smallfilms.
Smallfilms produced a number of series, including Ivor the Engine, Noggin the Nog, Pogies’ Wood, Clangers, and Bagpuss.
Firmin crafted the sets, puppets, and backdrops for Smallfilms programs and contributed to sound and visual effects. His most recent work was on the modern revival of Clangers.
Firmin died at his home in Kent after a short illness. Former children’s television presenter Floella Benjamin, said in tribute: “I have such fond memories of working with Peter. All he wanted to do was to create magic to stimulate kids’ minds through his creative vision.”