The Snowman, Father Christmas, Fungus the Bogyeman, Ug, The Bear, When the Wind Blows, Ethel & Ernest… Raymond Briggs is the man behind so many well-loved and poignant stories, with adaptations of his classic creations bringing joy and heartbreak to our TV screens each Christmas, so it’s little wonder someone finally decided to give the author and illustrator a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Briggs was honoured by The Book Trust at London’s Southbank Centre, with fellow author and illustrator Chris Ridell – who was taught by Briggs at the Brighton School of Art – presenting him with the accolade, which Briggs described as “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.
“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,” Briggs added in an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
And he also revealed that, despite his work being such a staple part of Christmas, he isn’t a fan of the festive season.
“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’.”