One of my childhood heroes has passed away.
Morph, Take Hart and Vision On are all firm and fond in my memory. Tony Hart was the top man and Morph was way cooler than anything Disney was animating at the time.
Artist and legendary children’s presenter Tony Hart has died at the age of 83. He had suffered from health problems for a number of years.
Tony made art cool, fun and interesting for the very young, without talking to us like we were monkeys. He greatly inspired me, I remember begging my Ma to cut the buttons from Pa’s shirts, so I could make art, obv. Button art. All the rage with the under 7s in the early 80s.
I even think I sent in my own pieces for The Gallery, not that I ever got to see one of my works on telly. I had to try though, Tony always made me feel like he would see my button art or macaroni drawing and absolutely love it. Of course, my artwork would inspire him and Morph to talk about it, musing over the cleverness and beauty.
I used to watch Vision On, waiting for the day Tony mentioned New Zealand and his biggest kiwi fan, Lita. In my daydreams it seemed like a good segue for Hart to then hang up my button/macaroni art in the gallery. Tis good to dream big.
I found myself sniffling at the moving obituary from the Telegraph.
Whether using paints, clay, textiles, foodstuffs or a cast-off object of almost any description, Hart had the magical ability to produce competent, entertaining pieces of work at impressive speed and in an unpatronising fashion. His avuncular, mildly eccentric manner made him the ideal host for children of all ages; indeed, at the height of one of his popularity in the mid 1980s, Hart’s request that viewers send in their own pictures to exhibit in “The Gallery”, a large wall showcasing their efforts, generated 6,000 submissions a week.