Children’’s TV presenter Tony Hart dies aged 83

January 19th, 2009 - 12:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, January 19 (ANI): British artist and children’’s TV presenter Tony Hart following prolonged illness, aged 83.
He appeared on art programmes for nearly 50 years, and inspired generations of children to paint and draw, before retiring in 2001 because of health problems.
Harts family said that the Surrey-based artist most famous for fronting children’’s shows including Vision On, Take Hart, and Hart Beat died peacefully in the early hours after suffering from health problems for a number of years.
He had suffered two strokes that left him unable to draw, and he recently described that as “the greatest cross I have to bear.”
His infectious enthusiasm and avuncular style helped him achieve his goal of making art fun and accessible for children.
He won two BAFTAs, including a lifetime achievement award in 1998, and described art as his “lifetime passion”.
Fellow artist and television presenter Rolf Harris paid tribute to Hart calling him “a very gentle and talented guy”.
“He brought huge creativity to his TV programmes, particularly using unexpected sources and materials, the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
“He enthused and inspired a whole generation of kids into creating their own works of art, simple or complex,” he added.
Richard Deverell, BBC Children’’s Controller, said: “Tony was a warm man who had a unique ability to communicate with and inspire children. His dedication to making art look simple, and his ability to help bring it to life through characters like Morph, has influenced generations of children to be creative. He was an inspirational man and a terrific broadcaster.”
Colonel William Shuttlewood, Director of the Gurkha Welfare Trust, described Hart as a staunch supporter who regularly donated pictures to be auctioned for charity.
“He was a lovely chap and was very keen to make sure we were supported properly,” he said. (ANI)

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