Ugly East Tower is designer's muse

Screen prints of TVC

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Many regard it as an ugly Sixties tower block, but one former BBC designer has taken East Tower as an artistic muse.

Hilary Hayton has created day and night screen prints to celebrate the former home of BBC children's programmes at Television Centre.

'I wanted to portray the energy once generated by this building,' she tells Ariel. 'It was such an exciting place to work in the Sixties and Seventies. TVC was bursting with creativity and opportunity; there were so many highlights.'

It was where Hayton established a department of 16 artists and photographers dedicated to the images used on children's programmes.

Crystal Tipps and Alistair Hayton created 1970s cult cartoon Crystal Tipps and Alistair

She designed titles for the likes of Play School - they were the first transmission on BBC Two - Jackanory and Play Away. She also created cult children's cartoon Crystal Tipps and Alistair - dialogue-free stories about a bushy-haired girl and her pet dog.

She left the BBC after 16 years in 1977 to start her own animation studio, creating, producing and directing a number of programmes, until computer animation took a grip of the industry.

'I gave my film equipment to Chelsea College of Art and returned to my original roots in art - painting and screen printing,' she says.

The latter involves creating a negative or black image for each colour on the print, developing that image onto a silk screen, printing and then registering each colour separately on archival paper.

For those of a nostalgic bent, Hayton's limited edition Television Centre screen prints are a chance to remember the building as it was. The children's department moved to Salford in 2011 and the TVC site is being redeveloped by its new owners.

The much-maligned East Tower, meanwhile, is being razed to the ground before it is reborn as an elegant residential block.

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