14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Bagpuss At 40: Fat Furry Cat-Puss Reunited With Emily For Birthday Celebrations


It's been 40 years since 'Bagpuss, oh Bagpuss' pawed his way onto our screens (and into our hearts).

To mark his big 4-0, the pink stripy cat has been reunited with his beloved 'owner' Emily - the child actress who appeared in the opening credits of the show when it started in the 70s.

Emily Firmin, now 48, was reunited with her original furry friend at the Canterbury Heritage Museum where the star of the BBC1 show is now a major attraction.

Emily, who now works as an artist, said: "It's lovely to be reunited with Bagpuss after all these years.

"I can barely believe it's been 40 years since I sat in that old Victorian outfit and posed with him for the show's opening sequence.


​I'm delighted that he is still as popular today as he ever was, even after such a long time.


"He's still the same saggy old cloth cat - but I think I've aged more than him over the last 40 years!"


Emily is the daughter of Bagpuss's creator Peter Firmin, who also created Ivor the Engine, Basil Brush and The Clangers. She was persuaded by her dad to appear in the credits of his new children's show for a bag of sweets.

Although only 13 episodes of Bagpuss were ever made, the fat, furry catpuss was a huge hit with viewers, and has become an iconic TV cat - up there with Postman Pat's beloved Jess and the nice tabby who prowled around in the opening scenes of Corrie.

"My dad is really proud of Bagpuss, and although he created dozens of characters, I know the saggy old cloth cat holds a special place in his heart," added Emily.


We do a lot of work in the name of Bagpuss with two charities, Spana, an animal protection charity, and Hospices of Hope, for terminally ill children. There's even a Bagpuss wing of a hospital in Bulgaria!


"I have a Bagpuss stuffed toy at home, but it's nice to see the real one again.It's lovely to meet people who remember the programme fondly.

"Often, they're actually surprised that I'm not older than I am. Because the programme credits were designed to look as though they were filmed at the turn of the century, people don't realise they were actually from 1974. Some fans have even told me they're shocked I'm still alive!"

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