Sad news. So who are the role models for kids today?

We’re only 3 weeks into 2009 and already I’ve lost two really big influences in my life: Oliver Postgate who created my beloved Bagpuss, Clangers and Ivor the Engine, and yesterday I heard that Tony Hart had passed away – his Gallery was the pinnacle of greatness for any young artist to be included in. Sadly none of my submissions got there, but didn’t stop my enthusiasm and I still went on to get a 2:1 in Fine Art – which I doubt I would have done without Tony’s weekly inspiration.

As the news of the passing of these two much loved chaps filtered through Twitter, Facebook and various forums, I got a sense of how much these people meant to my peers – a real generational outpouring of sadness and inspirational tales that I hadn’t seen so much of since the untimely death of John Peel.

Happily some of my other childhood inspirations: Patrick Moore, Johnny Ball, Rolf Harris & John Noakes are still around – but I’m struggling to find some women to add to this list… Erk. Why?

So, who are the role models, (some females too please!) for the present generation of children and who is inspiring them to get writing, painting, inventing and coding?

* Re female role models of my generation, my colleague Bruce James just came over and suggested Judith Hann who presented UK science & tech prog Tomorrow’s World for 20 years (1974-1994) and was the longest serving presenter (nice one, Bruce).