Blackboard would be sad today…
Norman Hetherington, who created and played Mr Squiggle to generations of Australians, has died following a long illness in Sydney.
He was 89.
Hetherington recently appeared on Collectors in July where he shared many of his 400 puppets.
He worked initially as a cartoonist before venturing into television in the late 1950s and pursuing his interest in puppetry.
He created Mr Squiggle in 1959.
Over its 40 years on TV, the show varied from five-minute spots to a one-and-a-half hour variety show featuring other performers. But it retained its main feature: children writing in with their “squiggles” which Mr Squiggle turned into drawings by connecting lines with his pencil nose. It ended in 1999.
When Mr Squiggle turned 50 in July last year, Hetherington told ABC News Online the world of television was a very different place when the show made its exciting debut.
“He came into the program without even an audition… that wouldn’t happen today,” he said.
“He was given a six-week trial and he stayed for the six weeks, six months, then six years and so on.
“And we didn’t always stick to the script. There was a lot of adlibbing, particularly in the drawing segment.”
His funeral service is expected to be held next Monday.