Entertainment & Arts

Raymond Briggs: Lifetime award for The Snowman creator

Raymond Briggs Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Raymond Briggs also created When The Wind Blows and Fungus the Bogeyman

Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, the creator of The Snowman, has been recognised with a lifetime achievement award by the charity BookTrust.

A panel of six judges said the award recognised his "outstanding contribution" to children's literature.

BookTrust paid tribute to the impact his "captivating and inspiring work" has had on children and adults alike.

Briggs, who also created When The Wind Blows and Fungus the Bogeyman, said it was "an incredible honour".

"It's lovely to be given an award for all my life achievements," he said.

"Drawing, telling stories and sharing these adventures is something I've always been passionate about.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Raymond Briggs designed six Christmas stamps for the Royal Mail in 2004

"Being awarded the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award is an incredible honour and I'm so glad I've been able to make such an impression on people."

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, he added: "It's a bit funny, it being called a lifetime achievement because it implies that you're at the end, you've had your lifetime, we want it tidied up, here's your award, get out."

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Media captionRaymond Briggs discusses publishing more work and his feelings about Christmas on the Today programme

He also said he is not a fan of Christmas, despite being so heavily associated with The Snowman.

"I don't like Christmas at all, I don't think anybody does," he said.

"It's full of anxiety, 'Have I got enough, have I spent enough, have I spent so much, we had so and so last year so we have to have so and so this year,' I can't bear it really. I get letters from people all the time saying 'We agree with you'."


Image caption Ethel and Ernest was screened on the BBC at Christmas

By Will Gompertz, BBC arts editor

Raymond Briggs has that gift only relatively few artists possess, which is an ability to produce work that touches people of all ages and backgrounds.

Be it The Snowman - now a Christmas perennial - or Ethel and Ernest - the graphic novel charting his parent's life - the characters he portrays are invariably imbued with a soulfulness that makes you, the reader, care deeply about their story.

His style as an illustrator and storyteller is understated in tone but bold in approach.

Difficult subjects are not ducked; the shade accentuates the light.

For each new generation introduced to his Fungus the Bogeyman, or Father Christmas, there lies in store a lifetime of literary and artistic discoveries produced by the unsentimental, but sympathetic hand of Raymond Briggs.

Briggs' other most noted works include Father Christmas, Ug, The Bear, Gentleman Jim, and Ethel and Ernest.

The panel of judges included children's laureate Chris Riddell, How to Train Your Dragon creator Cressida Cowell and ex-director of the human rights group Liberty, Baroness Chakrabarti.

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