He is the creator and writer of some of the most popular children's television programmes ever seen in Britain. Pingwings, Pogles' Wood, Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine, The Clangers and Bagpuss, were all made by Smallfilms, the company he set up with Peter Firmin, and were shown on the BBC between the 1950s and the 1980s, and on ITV from 1959 to the present day. In a 1999 poll, Bagpuss was voted most popular children's programme of all time.
In his early years he did a number of different jobs, never really finding his niche until he entered into a collaboration with Firmin, who built most of the models used in the various animations. Setting up their business in a disused cowshed near Canterbury, Kent, Postgate and Firmin worked on children's programmes based on concepts and scripts which mostly originated with Postgate. He was also the narrator for all the Smallfilms productions, as well as many minor productions including the WereBear story tapes, and his distinctive voice became familiar to generations of children.
Postgate married Prudence Myers in 1957, becoming stepfather to her three children (Kevan, Kerris and Krispian). The couple had twins in 1959 (Stephen and Simon); and another son in 1964 (Daniel). Prudence died in 1982.
In the 1970s and 1980s Postgate was active in the Anti-nuclear campaign, addressing meetings and writing several pamphlets including The Writing on the Sky.
In 1986, in collaboration with the historian Naomi Linnell, Postgate painted a 50ft long Illumination of the Life and Death of Thomas Becket for a book of the same name. This is now in the archive of the Canterbury Museum. In 1990 he painted a similar work on Christopher Columbus for a book entitled The Triumphant Failure. His voice was heard once more in 2003, as narrator for Alchemists of Sound, a television documentary about the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
The University of Kent at Canterbury awarded Postgate an honorary degree in 1987 and A Canterbury Chronicle, a triptych by Postgate commissioned in 1990 hangs in the Great Hall of Eliot College on the University's Canterbury campus.
His autobiography, Seeing Things, was published in 2000.
He now lives in Broadstairs on the Kent coast.
From Bagpuss to the Clangers, His Programmes Enchanted Generations of Youngsters. So Why Did Oliver Postgate, Who Died This Week, Fall out of Love with TV, and Even His Own Children? Magical Creations: Bagpuss (Top) and Noggin the Nog Were Perfect Family-Friendly Viewing Master Storyteller: Oliver Postgate
Dec 10, 2008; Byline: David Jones OLIVER POSTGATE had reached the age of 83 when he died this week, yet just like the many wonderful children's...
Books: More Breadcrumbs! ; Oliver Postgate's Creatures of Wool and Cardboard Have Entranced Students and Time Lords
Jun 18, 2000; Seeing Things By Oliver Postgate SIDGWICK & JACKSON pounds 15.99 The voice of Oliver Postgate. Warm and reassuring as sunned...