Brian Cosgrove is best known as the creator of Danger Mouse, the much loved classic cartoon series from the 1980s. Danger Mouse at its height beat Coronation Street in the TV ratings and to this day is still listed regularly in the top 3 British cartoon series of all time.
Brian Cosgrove was the co-founder in 1976 with Mark Hall of the multi award winning Cosgrove Hall Productions which produced the Danger Mouse series. This company went from humble beginnings employing just 7 people to become one of the largest and most respected animation companies in the world with a stable of programmes which included Count Duckula, Chorlton and the Wheelies, Jamie and the Magic Torch, the BFG and the Wind in the Willows.
Among the many accolades Brian Cosgrove and the company received are 6 British Academy Film and Television Awards, 3 International Emmies and 3 Royal Television Society awards. From when Brian and Mark first started making programmes in the early 1970s until his retirement in 2000 they produced 1,500 films which were distributed throughout the world.
Since Brian Cosgrove retired he has worked tirelessly to restore the Cosgrove Hall archives, rescuing the original artwork from such series as Danger Mouse and Count Duckula. These rare original production cels are the actual artwork that were hand painted and photographed to make the cartoon series. Each cel is unique and represents a great opportunity to own a moment from animation history. Along with the Danger Mouse and Count Duckula original production cels and original production drawings, Brian Cosgrove also produces his own limited edition cels of Danger Mouse and limited edition prints of his Danger Mouse paintings. This is a fantastic opportunity to own a piece of artwork by the creator of the series.
Along with managing the Cosgrove Hall archive, Brian also paints and sculpts his own original work which is also available to purchase.
"Danger Mouse is over 30 years old and some of this artwork has not seen the light of day since then", says Brian. The creator of Danger Mouse remembers very clearly though the day that the world's greatest secret agent was born. "It was during a brain storming session at my house. We wanted a mouse who was essentially a James Bond type spy, but not necessarily a very good spy! We originally dressed him in a white tuxedo which changed over the various drafts into a white jumpsuit with the eye patch being added later."
Penfold, Danger Mouse's myopic and slightly useless sidekick hamster, was born out a doodle Brian Cosgrove was doing whilst waiting to show television executives their brand new Danger Mouse series idea. "We had Danger Mouse all sorted out but lacked a side kick for him. I wanted the side kick to be round faced with a crumpled suit. So I was doodling away, waiting for the meeting and did a sketch of how I thought his side kick Penfold should look. We showed the drawing to the executives and they liked him immediately. After the meeting my partner in the company Mark looked down and said "You know what you've done? You've drawn your brother". So subconsciously I had based Penfold on my brother, who at the time was Deputy Editor of the Northern Sunday Express. With his bald head, thick glasses and round face I can't think why anyone saw a resemblance."