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More than 30,000 flock to see TV puppets at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

By Richard Guttridge | Attractions | Published:

They are some of the most recognisable faces to have appeared on TV - and their visit to the Black Country went down a storm as thousands of people came out to see Bagpuss, Fozzie Bear and friends.

More than 30,000 people flocked to see the TV puppets at Wolverhampton Art Gallery earlier this year, it has been revealed, making it one of the most successful events in the city in recent years.

Visitors were able to re-live their childhood as they got the chance to hark back to the glory days of television in familiar company.

Fozzie Bear from The Muppet Show, 1978

Bagpuss, Fozzie Bear from The Muppets, several Clangers, Lady Penelope and Parker from Thunderbirds and Basil Brush were among puppets to go on show.

They were in the city as part of an looking back at 80 years of puppets on TV.

Bagpuss

The exhibition, which ran from February to April, was split into two parts, with one room displaying pieces from the ‘Clangers, Bagpuss & Co tour’ from the V&A Museum of Childhood. An adjoining room featured pieces from exhibition ‘TV Puppets: Icons From 80 Years of Entertainment’.

In total, 33,750 people went through the doors to see the puppets up close - almost a quarter of the total footfall for the gallery for 2017/18, demonstrating just how popular the puppets were.

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Zippy and George of Rainbow

Councillor John Reynolds, cabinet member for city economy at Wolverhampton Council, said: "Clangers, Bagpuss & Co and TV Puppets: Icons from 80 Years of Entertainment were two fantastic exhibitions that took place at Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

"The exhibition enticed thousands of visitors who were able to step back into their childhood, while younger visitors were able to explore and discover the puppet industry that was and still is so iconic on the TV today.

Basil Brush

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"We enjoyed working with the V&A Childhood Museum, the National Puppetry Archive and we look forward to working with them again."

The art gallery is currently hosting its latest exhibition, Viking Heroes, which is allowing people to delve into the world of some of the real-life heroes of the Viking era, including Eric Bloodaxe the last Viking King of York, Canute the Great, and warrior woman Lathgertha.

Genuine Viking relics, replica objects and reconstructions are all part of the exhibition. Tickets can be bought in advance at www.ticketmaster.co.uk/WAG or from the Wolverhampton Council box office.

Richard Guttridge

By Richard Guttridge
Chief Reporter - @RichG_star

Chief Reporter for the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton.

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