50 years of Bagpuss

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Sheets of 10


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Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a children’s television show called Bagpuss, created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate. As the much-loved, saggy old cloth cat turns 50 this year, we’ve compiled some fascinating facts about Bagpuss and his friends…

• Peter Firmin intended Bagpuss to be a striped marmalade, orange coloured cat but the company that wove the striped furry cloth had a manufacturing fault and used pink instead of orange thread. The manufacturers offered to replace it, but Firmin decided it was fate.

• The window of the unusual shop, which was home to Bagpuss and his friends, was actually the dining room window of the Firmin family home in Blean.

• The title sequence for Bagpuss was designed to look like it was set at the turn of the 20th century, but it was actually filmed in 1974. The child in the opening credits, played by Firmin’s eight-year-old daughter Emily, wore a dress made up by her mother, Joan.

• Professor Yaffle was intended to be a wooden man with an Irish accent. The BBC asked Firmin and Postgate to turn the character into an animal – Professor Yaffle became a wooden bird - as they thought the concept designs might frighten younger children.

• Professor Yaffle was the most complicated and agile puppet, being the only one with moving legs and feet. To keep him upright during filming his feet had to be tacked to the surface. The tacks can be seen appearing and disappearing in various combinations in the four small holes in each foot, depending on the puppet’s position.

• When Gabriel the Toad is playing the banjo and singing, he is a live action hand puppet, whereas all other action is stop-frame animation.


Date of Issue 25th July 2024
Designer Chloe Sarre
Printer Brebner Print
Values 65p, £120, £2.71, £4.31
Process Offset Lithography
Stamp Size 35mm deep x 30mm wide
Souvenir Sheet 100mm deep x 140mm wide
Paper Arconvert Securpost Premium Gummed 110gsm
Sheet 10
Perforation 13.33 x 13.33
Cylinder A

50 years of Bagpuss