Helen Nicoll, Creator of Meg and Mog Cartoon, Dead at 74

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Helen Nicoll

Helen Nicoll

British author Helen Nicoll, cre­ator of the immensely pop­u­lar Meg and Mog series of children’s books about a witch and her cat, died Sep­tem­ber 30. The Wilt­shire, Eng­land res­i­dent was 74.

In 2003, her pic­ture books, illus­trated by Jan Pienkowski, were adapted into the 52-episode Meg and Mog ani­mated TV series. Meg was voiced by Kay Rip­ley, Mog by Phil Corn­well and Owl by Alan Bennett.

The first pre-school ani­mated series from Absolutely Pro­duc­tions, the show aired on CiTV. It was nom­i­nated for the Children’s BAFTA Award for Best Pre-School Ani­ma­tion in 2006.

The author was born Helen Morag Nicoll in Nat­land, West­more­land, Eng­land on Octo­ber 10, 1937. Nicoll was edu­cated at schools in Bris­tol; Dart­ing­ton Hall, Devon; and Froebel Edu­ca­tion Insti­tute, London.

Nicoll was a tele­vi­sion pro­ducer with the British Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion for many years. It was there, as pro­ducer of the children’s edu­ca­tional series Watch, that she first met Pienkowski. After work­ing together for four years, they decided that it was time to pre­serve their cre­ativ­ity in book form for future gen­er­a­tions of chil­dren to enjoy. Even­tu­ally, the two worked together for over 20 years, first at the BBC and then on the Meg and Mog titles.

In addi­tion to the Meg and Mog series, Nicoll had a long and var­ied asso­ci­a­tion with pub­lisher Puf­fin — as edi­tor of the Junior Puf­fin mag­a­zine The Egg from 1977 to 1979; as com­piler of the pop­u­lar children’s poetry anthol­ogy Poems for Seven Year Olds and Under, illus­trated by Michael Fore­man; and, through her part­ner­ship with Puf­fin, the enor­mously pop­u­lar series of Puf­fin Cover to Cover story tapes, of which she was the producer.

Cover to Cover Cas­settes, a com­pany that Nicoll founded, spe­cial­izes in the pro­duc­tion of com­plete and unabridged read­ings on audio cas­sette of 19th-century clas­sics and children’s books. Favorite Puf­fin sto­ries are read by famous actors and actresses with the addi­tion of music and sound effects.

Helen Nicoll mar­ried inte­rior designer and antique dealer Robert Kime in 1970. Besides her hus­band, she is sur­vived by their chil­dren, Han­nah and Tom.

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