Monday, January 19, 2009

Quote of the day

"Tony Hart was a terrific artist - skilful, fluent and endlessly inventive. He could draw and paint beautifully and had a natural, elegant sense of composition and design. But I think of him primarily as a communicator. What an inspiring, inspirational career he had in TV - effortlessly encouraging young people to express themselves in every sort of visual medium. The programmes he presented were gently paced and, yes, old-fashioned to current taste, but he treated his audience with immense respect and seriousness."

Peter Lord of Aardman Animations on Tony Hart, who died yesterday aged 83. Lord has underlined the fact that it wasn't just kids like me who were inspired to amateurish artworks by 'Hart Beat' and his other programmes - if it hadn't have been for Tony Hart, Morph would never have existed and Aardman wouldn't have taken off.

First Oliver Postgate, then Ron Asheton, and now Tony Hart - sources of inspiration personally one and all. Sad, sad, sad.

And that's not to forget Sir John Mortimer, who died last week at the age of 85. He's probably best known as the creator of 'Rumpole Of The Bailey', but as a barrister he was also a formidable champion of civil liberties, successfully defending both The Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks and D H Lawrence's 'Lady Chatterley's Lover' from obscenity charges (no matter that even a firm Lawrentian like myself thinks the latter is largely drivel). So it seemed rather fitting that Jenni and I had already planned to go to a 1920s/1930s party on Saturday as Connie and Mellors - a tribute of sorts.

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