How my Dad introduced me to Michael Caine and Vera Lynn
It was my father who started all of this off. AFTER he died just over two weeks ago.
And John Humphreys too speaking on R4 about his death announcement in The Times (listen below):
Yes, I had my cartoon of Dad printed there, the very newspaper I worked for many years ago :
And here is my original picture of him drawn on Sunday/Monday (he died the day before):
My siblings asked me to do this – it wasn’t easy the day after he died but I’m really happy with the drawing. Just captures who he was – a newspaper man through and through. He’d been an Arts Correspondent for the FT and Assistant City Editor for the (Manchester) Guardian working under the great Richard Fry. I think over 20,000 Telegraph and Times cryptic crosswords were finished in record time and I’ve included one of his never-ending supply of orange Bic biros. He bought Cartoon Originals in the Gloucester Road from Bernard Levin and Robin Ray in 1973, exhibiting some of the great cartoonists there including Marc Boxer, Mel Calman, Michael Heath, Bill Tidy, Reg Smyth, Giles, Martin Honeysett, Ed McLaughlan and Ffolkes. The only time I remember him being really proud of me was when I landed my daily strip in The Times. He also had an illustrious career as a City stockbroker launching glamorous clients such as Mary Quant and Yves St Laurent, and was a familiar face at Auction houses where he indulged his love of Fine Art and helped run Montpelier Studio Art Gallery in central London for over 20 years with his wife.
A pound a clue he’d offer us – as children this was worth ten times as much and I’d really get those brains cells connecting for the extra pocket money and kudos. Couldn’t quite keep up though with someone who’d been awarded a Scholarship to read History at Trinity College, Cambridge aged 16. Achieving a double first shouldn’t have been in doubt as during his time he accumulated five further scholarships (one shared). His modesty led him to say that it was only due to their lack of imagination that they kept giving him awards.
My drawing apparently impressed The Times so much, I was asked to do some more cartoons for famous birthdays in the same Hatch, Match and Dispatch column.
So this is how Dad introduced me from the great beyond to Michael Caine:
And the original:
A few days later it was Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday:
With the original:
I was scheduled to do William Shatner this week but we’ve been legally advised against it.
So we’re taking a newspaper break over Easter while I focus on my new online shop, the politicians and all the mummies.
(Not alot of people knew that)
And I’ll be raising a few glasses to my Dad – getting in the papers three days after he died. Hasn’t he done well for an old hack …
So … Until we meet again …
Live long and prosper!