1 9 7 4 (UK)
13 x 20 minute episodes
“Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss, Old fat furry cat-puss, Wake up, and look at this thing that I bring, Wake up, be bright, be golden and light, Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing”
Bagpuss – which first aired on 12 February 1974 – was written and narrated by Oliver Postgate who, along with Peter Firmin and Postgate’s company, Smallfilms, was responsible for many classic British children’s TV shows’ including The Clangers, Noggin The Nog and Ivor The Engine.
The Bagpuss stories were set in Victorian England in a shop owned by a girl called Emily (played by Firmin’s daughter). She would bring various items into the shop that she had discovered, with the object of repairing them and returning them to their rightful owner.
She was assisted by Bagpuss, a fat pink and white striped cloth cat, who would spring to life at the sound of Emily’s voice.
Bagpuss was in turn assisted by Professor Yaffle, a carved wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker (pictured at left), Madeline, a motherly rag doll, Gabriel a banjo-playing toad, and the mice of the Mechanical Mouse Organ.
“Bagpuss gave a big yawn, and settled down to sleep. And when Bagpuss goes to sleep, all his friends go to sleep too. The mice are ornaments on the Mouse Organ, Gabriel and Madeleine are just dolls.”
“And Professor Yaffle is just a carved wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker. “
“Even Bagpuss himself, once he is asleep, is just an old, saggy cloth cat; baggy and a bit loose at the seams. But Emily loved him”
Despite only appearing in 13 brief episodes, Bagpuss was voted Britain’s favourite children’s TV show in a 1999 poll, leading to 100 lines of merchandise and a comfortable retirement for all concerned.
Ship in A Bottle | The Owls of Athens | The Frog Princess | The Hamish | Flying | The Ballet Shoe | The Wise Man | The Giant | The Mouse Mill | The Elephant | Old Man’s Beard | The Fiddle | Uncle Feedle