Credit: Shutterstock/Tony Hart

Doing anything creative is important, because it gets your imagination working. Every child should be encouraged to be creative

For over 50 years, Tony Hart taught children across the country the importance of creativity. His programmes were educational, informative, interactive and always encouraged their young viewers to get artistic.

After leaving school in 1943, Tony wanted to join the Royal Air Force to help with the war effort but, due to slightly diminished eyesight, was unable to do so. Instead he followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the British Indian Army. Following the Independence of India, Tony demobilised from the army and pursued his first passion, art.

Tony attended the Kent Institute of Art and Design and upon graduating, supported himself as a freelance artist. During this period he would often exchange meals from local restaurants for his services painting them murals. In 1953 he had the opportunity to interview for the BBC and, after drawing a nifty picture of a fish on a serviette, he was hired.

Over the next five decades he would host art segments on BBC shows such as Saturday Special as well as presenting his own programmes from Hart Beat to Take Hart, all of which encouraged young people to get drawing, taught them new techniques and featured art they sent in. He received two awards from the British Academy of Film and Television, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 for his services to children’s entertainment.