Tony Hart passed away on the 18th January at the age of 83.
For art teachers like me, Tony Hart was both a curse and an inspiration. A curse because he made children believe that they could create something wonderful in just a few minutes and an inspiration because he showed you how you could create art using recycled junk.
Like many children over successive generations, I grew up with Tony Hart; first in black and white and then colour. There were others on the box like Rolf Haris and Nancy Kominski but none of them seemed to hit the spot and inspire you in the way that Tony Hart did.
Over the course of 50 years, Hart appeared in Saturday Special, Vision On, Take Hart, Hart Beat, Tony Hart’s Artbox Bunch, On Your Marks and Smart Hart, as well as creating the iconic Blue Peter logo. From 1977, a plastecine stop-motion character called Morph began appearing with Hart on his shows and was soon to become a star in his own right.
After his wife Jean died in 2003, Hart suffered a series of strokes that left him unable to use his hands.
“Not being able to draw is the greatest cross that I have to bear,” he wrote, “for it has been my lifetime passion”.
Many of us have a lot to thank him for.