This is sad news. Tony Hart was one of my childhood heroes, the only person on childrens' telly at the time who encouraged creative kids to draw, paint, collage, model and print - AND send their creations in to be shown in 'The Gallery'!
He was a warm, modest, friendly presenter and he produced work in all media and on every scale, including huge paintings on the studio floor, filmed from above, which he created using a huge paint roller.
Tony Hart's shows went through several name-changes - in 'my' time there was 'Take Hart' and 'HartBeat' (which had a theme tune seemingly produced by The Human League...). They were the highlight of my week and meant so much to me as I was hungry to learn about art and design and while my parents encouraged my creative side, neither of them is artistic so couldn't teach me anything themselves.
So I am very grateful to you, lovely Mr Hart. I only have to hear (theme tune to 'The Gallery') Cavatina to be transported back to your exciting world of creative possibilities!
* SONG OF THE DAY: Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt - To Know Him Is To Love Him *
BBC: TV presenter Tony Hart dies at 83
BBC: In pictures: Tony Hart
YouTube: Tony Hart in action in 1976
YouTube: Ricky Gervais meets Tony Hart
YouTube: Matt Lucas and David Walliams pay homage to Take Hart