VIDEO: Tribute to Mr Squiggle, creator dies aged 89

VIDEO: Tribute to Mr Squiggle, creator dies aged 89

The creator of Australian children’s television children character Mr Squiggle has died. Watch Mr Squiggle draw “a very fashionable pig, wearing a donut for an earring, glasses – rimless – and a tie”. Of course!

Norman Frederick Hetherington, the man behind popular Australian children’s television character Mr Squiggle dies after a long illness aged 89.

For more than 40 years, Mr Squiggle turned the lives of children "upside down" by transformed random lines of paper into creative and recognisable characters.

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Hetherington first became interested in puppetry at age 14 when his father gave him a magazine with instructions for making a puppet out of used bicycle inner tubes. But Hetherington first established himself professionally as a cartoonist.

The Bulletin published one of his cartoons in 1938 but when World War II broke out a year later Hetherington enlisted, becoming a soldier in the 1st Australian Army Entertainment Unit. After the war, Hetherington became a successful freelance cartoonist in Sydney and in 1946 was given a job at The Bulletin.

But he continued his interest in puppetry and in 1956 his TV career began after completing training at the ABC.

He created several children’s shows for TV before introducing Mr Squiggle, who first appeared as part of the Children’s TV Club on the ABC in 1959 and later hosted his own show.

His wife Margaret, whom he married in 1958, wrote all the scripts for the moon-dwelling marionette with a pencil for a nose while Hetherington, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1990, provided all the voices for the show’s puppets.

Hetherington is survived by Margaret, daughter Rebecca and son Stephen.

Shocked by Mr Squiggle’s death?: Share your thoughts. Email us and we’ll post and pass on your condolences, [email protected].


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