Oliver Postgate - Seeing Things: A Memoir (4 stars)

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Oliver Postgate - Seeing Things: A Memoir

(Canongate)

When Charlie Brooker delivered a heartfelt five-minute tribute to Oliver Postgate in his Screenwipe show last year, his trademark acid-tongued sarcasm went right out the window. Instead, Mr Cynical looked like he might tear up as he remembered the ‘bloody lovely’ work of Postgate, one half of the tiny two-man team Smallfilms, which painstakingly produced The Clangers, Bagpuss and Ivor the Engine out of a shed in Kent.

Postgate’s autobiography, published a year after his death, reveals someone as modest, charming, downright wholesome and quirky as his kids shows were. Dreaming up musical trees, saggy cloth cats and grumpy professors to entertain a generation of now thirtysomething kids, there was an innocence and comforting kindness to his lo-fi work: a stark contrast to the screeching hyperactivity of corporate cartoons from this era. A wise and warm book from Britain’s favourite surrogate uncle, proving he’s just as good at storytelling for adults as children.

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