He may mean absolutely to anybody but every man, woman or child aged 60 or below knew and loved him. He was the most successful Child television producer and star. He played many wonderful roles on many Dutch television shows and was most famous in the past 25 years or so with the youngest children as he played a main part on Dutch Sesame street.

He played over 30 years as a character on Sesame street, he produced great television shows for kids and he did something that children television producers/creators never ever did in those times. He took the child seriously and did not talk down to him. He did not act like he was the big adult and that he knew best.

There is no great Dutch children television show from the early seventies upwards that was not down to him. And the subjects he and his co-presenters talked about were serious issues for you adults (the show was meant for 10 to 14 years old mainly but was a show that most of the family came together to watch it. They tackled subjects like falling in love, discrimination, school, bullying, sex, being naughty, crimes, broken homes, temper and aggression, outsiders, insecurity, integrity, orphanages, faith, superstition, weak and strong and loneliness. And none of these subjects was ever dealt with by telling kids they were too young for something or that it were big people issues. They dealt with each subject by not treating children like idiots. Naughty songs, naughty lyrics, simple and strong child television.

One of his most successful roles was on the Film van Ome Willem (the movie from Uncle Willem) and it was often chaos. Children were allowed to be as rowdy as they wanted and participated with shouting, singing and just walking on set. It was chaos, it often happened that a child walked up to him because he had to go to the bathroom, and it was transmitted just like that. Not scripted, not sanitized, nothing like that, raw children fun. As an 8 year old I loved it.

Sadly he must have not seen a car when he drove his mobility car last week and was thrown from the car. Sadly he did not recover and aged 81, the man who spent almost 50 years making children television died yesterday. The country was sad because as said, every man women and child new him and most loved him.

Our prime minister said he was the icon of our youth and many others named him the godfather of Dutch children's television. Rest in peace Aart Staartjes, you enthralled millions of young minds and never took children for granted or treated them like they did not matter.