It's about capitalism: Cod-communist readings of Bagpuss abound - you know, where the mice are the oppressed workers, and Bagpuss the corrupt media, presided over by Professor Yaffle as a corrupt politician and Madeleine as a tired aristrocrat, and the toad is just, well, a singing toad. We've linked to one below, and it's great fun. Entertaining as these theories are, Oliver Postgate has been swift to deny them.
The mice: A lot of the time the top mouse was Charlie Mouse. His little band of helpers included Jenny Mouse, Janey Mouse, Lizzie Mouse, Eddie Mouse and Willy Mouse. There were rumours of a Sporty Mouse and Scary Mouse but these have been strongly denied.
Pretty in Pink: Bagpuss was pink (with cream coloured stripes). He wasn't yellow, green or orange. The story goes that Peter Firmin ordered some marmalade-cat coloured fabric to make Bagpuss, however when it arrived, it was more pink than ginger. The manufacturers offered to replace it, but Peter decided that it was an Act Of Destiny, and there weren't enough pink cats on the telly. And so Bagpuss was created in glorious pink (with cream coloured stripes).
13 Episodes: As difficult as it may be to believe, there were only thirteen episodes of Bagpuss made. These were Ship in A Bottle, The Owls of Athens, The Frog Princess, The Hamish, Flying, The Ballet Shoe, The Wise Man, The Giant, The Mouse Mill, The Elephant, Old Man's Beard, The Fiddle and Uncle Feedle.
Nowadays: The cast of Bagpuss still live with Peter Firmin in the shop. Although these days they physically live in an old tin trunk.
Chocolate biscuits: Yes there was an episode which involved a chocolate biscuit mill. The mice used it to trick Professor Yaffle into thinking that they had a machine which could make unlimited numbers of chocolate bisuits. What they actually did was keep recycling the same biscuit. Very direspectful.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Bagpuss images and identity © Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin