"Tony was also a wonderful man. He never raised his voice and never lost his temper. He was a real, kind-hearted gentleman. I feel very honoured to have had those two series with him before he retired. He gave so many generations the joy of learning about art.” " - Kirsten O’Brien - BBC SMart. -
Tony's first big break was a small slot in a children's television series called 'Saturday Special' which started in 1951.
Tony joined as an artist and illustrator. Peter Butterworth and Janet Brown hosted the show and various people joined 'Saturday Special' over its two year run including Harry Corbett and Sooty. He also contributed graphics on the 'Tonight' programme.
Around this time Tony met Jean Skingle, a programme secretary who also once wrote an episode of 'Z Cars'. The pair married in 1953.
Tony was effectively thrown in at the deep end but by the time 'Saturday Special' had ended, Tony had not only grown used to cameras, he had also unknowingly started a whole new genre that was to become chldren's Art TV. Following on from his success on the show, Hart was asked to join 'Playbox', a sort of panel game, hosted by Eamonn Andrews.
It was on 'Playbox' (which alternated with Crackerjack) that Tony had his first brush (excuse the pun) with Rolf Harris. Rolf had already been working in childrens televsion in Perth and recently moved back to the UK after studying art in London some years earlier.
In 1959 Tony became involved in the 'Ask Your Dad' series, designing the series title card and whatever else he was asked to do. For the next couple of years iphone 4S cases, Tony worked on "Disney Wonderland" (ABC) , and "Stories in Pictures" (Walt Disney).
In 1963 he joined ventriloquist Ray Alan (better known now for Lord Charles) in the long-running and massively popular series 'Titch & Quackers' (essentially a ventriloquist schoolboy and a rather cute duck). Tony operated Quackers the duck and both he and Alan established such a rapport, the pair would often work out what they were going to do on the way to the studio!
In 1964, Tony joined Pat Keysell on the series that was to bring him international fame - 'Vision On'
1952-54: Saturday Special .
1954-59: " Playbox " series.
1959 onwards: "Ask Your Dad" series.
1960 - 1963: "Disney Wonderland" (ABC) , and "Stories in Pictures" (Walt Disney).
1963: First appearance in long-running "Titch and Quackers" show.
Tony operated Quackers throughout, and did drawing feature.
1964-1977: " Vision On "
1978-1984: " Take Hart " series, Tony's first exclusive vehicle is an instant success. Morph makes his appearance.
1984: "Take Hart" awarded a BAFTA (British Oscar).
1985-1994: " Hartbeat " series.
1995-1996: "Tony Hart's Artbox Bunch" first series.
1997: "Morph TV with Tony Hart" first series.
1998: First series of "On Your Marks".
1999: "Smart Hart" with Kirsty O'Brien first series.
2000: Second series of "Smart Hart"tag heuer replica