Tony Hart is the much loved TV artist who used to present the UK childrens program Take Hart.
Most viewers remember two things about the show: The Gallery - featuring viewers artwork, and Morph - the animated adventures of a small plasticine boy.
Tony Hart's "you can do it" approach to creativity has been an inspiration to generations of children - including us - and so we got in touch to ask him your questions.
What do you do these days?
I am still kept busy in my studio, and making personal and TV appearances.
Gurkha officer to telly artist ... How?
Britain lost India, and I found TV! See my website.
Did you ever kill anyone?
No, but I did feel like "killing" a few people in my career.
What's your favourite childrens book?
The Wind in the Willows (thanks for a nice question).
What is your favourite animal?
The wire-haired terrier (I once had one - sad memory).
The cravat: why?
When I wore it first it was fashionable; today it hides an ageing neck! You will find out one day!
What is the biggest thing you have ever lost and where did it go?
I once created an 80feet Polystyrene horse on a Surrey hillside. It rained and it disappeared!
Are all maths teachers evil?
Probably not, but they were unable to teach me!
If you were elected as President of the United States of America, what would you do?
Take the first flight back to the UK.
When did you lose your virginity?
I didn't lose it, I knew exactly where it had gone. Oh! alright, 1948.
Why did morph have no genitalia?
Thank goodness his creators were decent young men, and did not behave in an offensive manner. Mind you, it would not have taken much plastacine ...
Was there a Mrs Morph?
Was morph chucked back in the plasticine bucket every week?
Oh no. He and all the other Morphs were refrigerated to be used again.
Was Morph that colour because he was an amalgamation of all the colours in the plastacine bin?
Harbutts (who manufactured plastacine) did put all their unsold product into a machine, and the resulting red/brown product was sold to various industries, and was very useful for balancing machinery for example.
What you do think of Turner Prize winner Martin Creed?
Never heard of him.
What do you think of digital art?
I admire it, very useful gift to have. I can't do it without supervision - by children!
What's your favourite name you've ever heard for a colour?
"Elephant's Breath" (something I read in a Rag Trade advert).
What's your favourite medium - Paint, tin foil, pasta or washing up bottles swinging around on string?
Pen and wash.
Did you ever use bodily fluids to create works of art, like Gilbert and George?
What's smallest thing you've ever drawn?
A stylised flower on a 4mm circle. Makes me sweat to think about it.
What's the biggest thing you've ever drawn?
I once drew an elephant with a pitch-marking machine, in whitewash, on an airfield runway. Bigger than that was decorating a warehouse with polystyrene foam - from a spraying device - with flowers (incoming pilots to Heathrow asked Air Traffic Control what the heck was going on), but that was not drawing.
Have you ever made controversial art?
No. But I might try a stuffed alien on wheels now you give me the idea!
Is it true that only mad people can draw a perfect circle freehand?
No - there is no such thing as perfection in a drawing.
Have you had any accidents involving paint and such like materials?
In "Take Hart" the caretaker Mr Bennett balanced 4 tins of paint on top of a door.... you can imagine the consequences.
Did anyone send a picture in for the Gallery who then went on to become famous artist?
Not that I know of, but according to my mailbag, a huge number of young people were inspired to take up art because of my modest efforts, and they are working in the media all over the world - including Hollywood. God bless them all.
What was your favourite picture you remember from the gallery?
I can't recall a favourite, but I was very pleased with a great many of them.
What happened to the pictures after they were in the gallery?
Frankly, I don't know. I do know that they were bundled up and sent to a warehouse in Acton, but what happened to them after that .....
Did you ever nick ideas from the kids pictures?
I honestly am not aware of ever doing so, but we are all influenced by the work of others, consciously or unconsciously, so who knows?
How old was the oldest entrant for the gallery?
The upper age was supposed to be 15.
Why did you never show any of my pictures?
Oh! my dear fellow; with a weekly mailbag of 6,000, it is sad but understandable that a lot of splendid work - like yours - did not make it. Hard luck!
Hmmm, Tony, when discussing the Gallery pictures, did you ever really feel like saying - "God, this picture of the Eiffel tower made from spaghetti and silver spray paint is actually .... quite awful?
No. We purposely showed a true cross section of the work submitted, so that some of the not-so-good ones got shown too!
If you could go back and redo any of your programs, which would you redo, what would you change and why?
No, I have no desires to go back and re-do any of my programmes, I only hope that they do not become outdated, and that they may one day be shown to future generations of creative young people. That would be very nice, even if it does sound self-satisfied.
Do you think you could take Rolf Harris in a fight?
Well; as Rolph never stops talking I might just do it .... I used to be quite handy in my youth.
What about Neil Buchanan?
He is a very talented and nice person.
Thanks to Roc Renals for helping us to arrange the interview, all those who contributed questions and Wallacet, Wangolini, Captain Kimbo, Fud, Chthonic & Flibz for the illustrations.