Yesterday, the 12th February, marked the 40th birthday of one of the most iconic and much loved children’s characters ever; Bagpuss. The “old saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams” was first aired on the 12th February 1974. I wasn’t only Emily that loved him either, children across the world tuned in for the latest tales of his adventures with his friends.
Fans will be able to join in with the celebrations throughout 2014 thanks to watching episodes that have been digitally remastered in HD at Picture House Cinemas across Britain. There will also be a new range of books, HD DVD’s and other merchandise launched this year in commemoration of this landmark anniversary.
Created by children’s entertainment veterans Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin, also responsible for cherished classics like Clangers and Ivor the Engine, Bagpuss is still fondly remembered by generations of Britons today. Coolabi, the company which represents the rights to the brand, has kept this cultural heritage alive, and the 40th year will see a range of Bagpuss themed product available to fans – including collectable Royal Mail stamps, pet accessories, clothing, and even garden seeds.
Although just 13 episodes of Bagpuss were made, the shows ran for 26 weeks a year for 13 years, and the cuddly cat’s fan base continues to grow. Channel 5 recently voted Bagpuss the third greatest kids TV programme of all time, and best character show, in a nostalgic countdown of the 50 best British children’s TV series over the past 60 years.
Michael Dee, Director of Content at Coolabi says: “Bagpuss has been one of the most beloved children’s characters for 40 years, and we are thrilled that he remains as popular as ever with fans of all ages. We are excited to be able to continue the legacy of Bagpuss, digitally re-mastering episodes in HD and screening them in cinemas across the country so the magic of his stories can reach new generations of fans.”