Trap Door animator Terry Brain dies after cancer battle

media captionBristol animatorTerry Brain, who has died, explained how he helped to create the show's main character Berk in a 1989 BBC documentary

The animator who co-created the 1980s children's TV hit Trap Door has died.

Terry Brain, from Bristol, "passed away peacefully" on Friday morning, at the age of 60, after a two-year battle with cancer, his son David Brain said.

"He was my hero - an amazing guy, funny. Right up until the last time I saw him... he was still trying to crack jokes through it," he said.

Along with fellow animator Charlie Mills, he was also behind Stoppit and Tidyup.

The pair were referred to as "Brainbox Mills".

Paying tribute to his father, Mr Brain said: "Dad was a smiley, relaxed person - and a veteran in the industry, who inspired many young animators."

He added: "Right up to the end he was making his own series in his spare room.

image copyrightDavid Brain
image captionTerry Brain's family said "making people laugh was his priority"
image copyrightDavid Brain
image captionTerry Brain worked across the road from Bristol-based Aardman Animation and later joined them

"He was four seconds of animation away from finishing a 12-part series he'd been doing, and we're going to try and get someone to finish it off for him. So there's still more to come.

"He wouldn't have wanted people to know he was in pain, just enjoy his stuff."

image copyrightDavid Brain
image captionDavid Brain (2nd left) with his sister Claire Brain and mother Sue Vickery and his father

The animator, from Fishponds, was discovered by television artist Tony Hart, and joined his programme Hartbeat.

After working across the road from Bristol-based Aardman Animation, he joined them and worked on some of their biggest hits, including Shaun the Sheep, Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit.

image captionA total of 40 episodes of Trap Door were made in Bristol

Mr Brain said: "Making people laugh was his priority. And if you look at his work, Trap Door and stuff, people grew up with it and see it as a kids show - but if you watch it now, you see the adult and risqué humour in it, and that was the humour my dad brought with him."

A total of 40 episodes of Trap Door were produced, starring a blue-coloured character named Berk and a cast of monsters.

The animator had two children and three grandchildren.

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