by Lorna Cooper, TV Editor

Tony Hart Dies

Legendary children's TV presenter Tony Hart has died.
TV star Tony Hart (Image © BBC)
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. 
 
Born in Maidstone, Kent, he was interested in drawing from an early age. His television break came in 1952 when he met a BBC children's TV producer. It led to him becoming resident artist on the Saturday Special programme.
 
Subsequent TV shows followed and included Playbox (1954–59), Titch and Quackers, Vision On (1964–77) Take Hart (1978–84), Hartbeat (1985–94) and Smart Hart (1999–2000). During the 1970s, he was often associated with animated plasticine stop-motion character Morph.
 
Plasticine character Morph (Image © Aardman)
A regular feature of Tony Hart's TV shows was 'The Gallery' - first introduced in the show Vision On. It showcased art sent in by young viewers accompanied by easy-listening instrumental Leftbank 2, composed by Wayne Hill and performed by the Lance Gambit Trio. Synonymous with 'The Gallery', it has passed into British TV theme lore.
 
Tony Hart's contribution to children's TV cannot be overstated; he created the original design for the Blue Peter badge and had he been paid royalties rather than a flat fee, he would've made an absolute fortune from it. Tony Hart received two Bafta awards; his first came in 1978 and his second was a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. He retired from regular TV work in 2001.
 
In an interview published in 2008, he revealed that not being able to draw after suffering two strokes was: "the greatest cross I have to bear." Widower Tony met his wife Jean, with whom he adopted a daughter, while working in TV. It was his family who made the announcement that he had died peacefully.  

Rate this article: PoorPoorNot GoodOkGoodExcellentExcellent
Your rating helps other users gauge the value of an article
... opens a new window
Check out the new-look MSN Entertainment (Image © MSN)
  • A tribute to legendary artist and children's TV presenter Tony Hart (Image © BBC)Tributes To Tony Hart

    Generations of Brits are mourning legendary artist and children's TV presenter Tony Hart. A stalwart of the BBC from 1952, he died peacefully at the age of 83. We pay tribute.

  • A selection of feel-good TV shows to boost the spirits, including Only Fools and Horses (Image © BBC)Feel-good TV

    It's cold. It's grey. It's miserable. On top of that, there's the credit crunch and all manner of bad news. Our selection of feel-good TV shows will definitely boost spirits...

  • Patrick McGoohan, star of The Prisoner, has died. (Image © ITV/Network)Remembering Patrick McGoohan

    Acclaimed actor Patrick McGoohan, star of iconic 1960s Brit series The Prisoner, has died. In our tribute, we detail his awards and the impressive legacy that he has left behind.

entertainment tv features article
en-gb

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

  1. Who should be the permanent presenter of the BAFTAs?

Vote to see results

Click here to see results without voting

  1. Who should be the permanent presenter of the BAFTAs?
    1. Stephen Fry
      45%
    2. French and Saunders
      11%
    3. Ricky Gervais
      9%
    4. Graham Norton
      9%
    5. Jonathan Ross
      17%
    6. Other
      9%
36886 responses, not scientifically valid, results updated every minute.

TV GAMES AND EXTRAS

TV GAMES AND EXTRAS

Play TV Mash Up
TV Mash Up

Guess the TV celebrity by answering questions and revealing squares...

TV GAMES AND EXTRAS

Check out our Dancing On Ice Special
Dancing On Ice Special

Pictures, live blogs, articles, podcasts - we've got all you need to know about Dancing On Ice...

TV GAMES AND EXTRAS

See our Celebrity Big Brother 6 Special
Celebrity Big Brother 6 Special

Everything you need to know about Celebrity Big Brother 6, including video from the show...

TV SHOPPING OFFERS