By Chris King • 12 March 2023 • 3:48
Bill Tidy, without a doubt Britain’s most famous cartoonist passed away this Saturday, March 11, in the mining village of Swannington in Leicestershire, at the age of 89. He had previously suffered two major strokes and was under constant care due to the subsequent decline in his health, as reported by dailymail.co.uk.
His daughter Sylvia described him to The Mirror as the: UK’s best-loved cartoonist’, and a: ‘talented and very funny man. We are all deeply saddened but his legacy and cartoons will continue to live on’, she told the news outlet. His son Rob had become a full-time carer for his father and was at his side along with his sister Sylvia when he passed.
Tidy was always in demand for television appearances, regularly showing his talent for quick artistry on programmes including Watercolour Challenge and Countdown. The popular artist also made appearances on shows such as Blankety Blank, Countryfile, and Through the Keyhole.
His glittering career as a cartoonist was kick-started in 1955 when he sold one of his sketches to a Japanese newspaper. At that time, he was serving in the British Army with the Royal Engineers. After leaving the military Bill found himself doing work for publications including the Daily Mirror and the Daily Sketch.
As his reputation grew, Bill decided to move to London where, with the help of some Fleet Street colleagues, the British Cartoonists’ Association was formed.
Between 1967 and 1981 he drew the iconic Private Eye cartoon strip ‘The Cloggies’. That was joined by the equally-popular cartoon strip that ran from 1971 to 1985 in the Daily Mirror – ‘The Fosdyke Saga’. The strip became so big that in 1983 it ended up being made into a 42-part BBC radio series.
He also illustrated a total of 70 books throughout his career, as well as writing 20. An MBE for services to journalism was bestowed upon him in 2000.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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