Cutest Characters: Bagpuss
June 9, 2011
Time for the second edition of Cutest Characters. I’ll be doing these updates on Wednesdays instead of Fridays. (Yes, I know it says posted June 9th but I started writing before midnight! Aaaah!)
I’m writing about another cat character! Bagpuss, oh Bagpuss.
Bagpuss is a character from an old childrens TV show first shown in 1974 and created by Peter Firmin and the very wonderful and sadly deceased Oliver Postgate. So this was a show that was quite old by the time I was born but it must have still been shown on TV I think as I do remember watching it (along with other Smallfilms shows like the Clangers, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine).
The premise is that Bagpuss belongs to a little girl called Emily, who owns a strange shop full of lost, broken things waiting to be reclaimed by their owners. Why am I telling you this when I can show you!
“Bagpuss, dear Bagpuss
Old fat furry Catpuss
Wake up and look at this thing that I bring
Wake up, be bright, be golden and light
Bagpuss, oh hear what I sing.”
The episodes always begin with a new object being brought to the shop and the regular inhabitants trying to figure out what it is. The mice usually try to fix it, Professor Yaffle figures out what it is and then one of the characters gets inspired and tells a story which is told through a little animation. It’s all quite dreamy and very nice to watch when you’re trying to get to sleep.
Although Bagpuss is definitely a part of my childhood my current obsession with him really began two Christmases ago when I received a little Bagpuss toy from my Mum. There are a lot of Bagpuss toys out there and some of them are, well, hideous. This one is different. He’s small and fluffy but not soft and has the most mournful expression on his face. I was more excited about this present than, well, just about anything else! I was so taken that I started taking lots of photos of him. The more fun the location the better it is because he always looks sad no matter what angle the picture is taken from. I’ve taken pictures of him looking sad in cherry blossom trees, next to sweets and drinks, at Summer Sonic, next to the Glico man etc. etc. Bagpuss remains unimpressed and this is why I love him. I have a tumblr ‘The Exciting Life of Bagpuss’ which I’ve only recently started updating again where I post pictures of Bagpuss looking mournful next to things. I have quite a large backlog of photos to post.
Have a look! And follow me!
So to conclude, here’s the little verse from the end of the programme:
“And of course, when Bagpuss goes to sleep,
All his friends go to sleep too.
The mice were ornaments on the mouse organ.
Gabriel and Madeleine were just dolls.
Professor Yaffle was a carved, wooden bookend in the shape of a woodpecker.
Even Bagpuss himself, once he was asleep, was just an old, saggy cloth cat,
Baggy, and a bit loose at the seams,
But Emily loved him.”
And I love him too.
Bagpuss Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagpuss
Bagpuss Shop: http://www.bagpussshop.co.uk/