Creator: Oliver Postgate, Peter Firmin
Starring: Oliver Postgate, Sandra Kerr, John Faulkner
Production Company: Smallfilms
Kent Locations Used: Blean – Canterbury
Bagpuss (1974) was an animated children’s TV series created by Smallfilms which aired on BBC2 in 1974. The series follows Bagpuss, “a saggy old cloth cat”, who lives in a shop that houses lost things. Each of the thirteen episodes feature Bagpuss and his friends the mice, a rag doll named Madeleine, Gabriel the toad, and Professor Yaffle the wooden woodpecker, coming to life and investigating the objects their owner Emily brings them.
The series was created by Smallfilms, a TV production company founded by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, who also produced popular children’s stop-motion animated programmes The Clangers (1969-1974), Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog. The production was a collaboration between the two men, with Firmin making the models and drawing the artwork, and Postgate writing the scripts and voicing and animating the characters.
Sandra Kerr voiced Madeleine the rag doll and John Faulkner voiced Gabriel the Toad. Both actors also wrote and performed the folk songs. Bagpuss, the narrator, and additional characters were voiced by creator Oliver Postgate.
Bagpuss, as well as Smallfilms’ other productions, was shot in a studio in Blean, near Canterbury. The studio was originally a disused cowshed at Firmin’s family home. The exterior of the shop appearing in each episode’s opening scene was also filmed at Firmin’s home and featured his daughter Emily.
Blean is a village in the district of Canterbury which is home to the popular Blean Woods Nature Reserve, one of the largest woodlands in England. Smallfilms The Clangers (1969-1974) was also shot in Blean.
Despite only airing for one series, Bagpuss garnered nationwide acclaim and in 1999 it won a BBC poll becoming the nation’s favourite BBC children’s programme.
Bagpuss first aired on BBC2 from Tuesday 12th February to Tuesday 7th May 1974. It is now available to purchase on DVD.
For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.