They said it would be the end of the world, but they were wrong … The Dandy is still with us (albeit in digital form), as mentioned here last week. There is, however, a documentary on 75 years of the comic, Just Dandy, showing on BBC One on New Year’s Eve, featuring contributions from the likes of Frank Skinner, Brian Cox, Bill Paterson and Nick Park. The programme is only being shown in Scotland, sadly but perhaps it will turn up on the iPlayer.
One of the prices for the skill of visual thinking is that sometimes other people admire them to the point of purchase, but not for direct attribution.
Private Eye Olympics cover 9th August 2012 @procartoonists.org
The picture above of the cover of the most recent issue of Private Eye magazineis an example of this. But, er, exclusively, we can reveal the original cartoon behind the mass-market cover page printing.
This year, members of the PCO have once again contributed to the BBC TV series QI and its spin-off book titles. It’s a relationship that has existed ever since the first QI Annual was published in 2008.
The TV show – in which each season follows a letter of the alphabet – was already in its fifth ‘E’ season when it was decided that some sort of annual was in order. True to form, QI inventor John Lloyd (also the man who created The News Quiz, The News Huddlines,Not the Nine O’Clock News,Spitting Image, produced all four series of Blackadder, and co-wrote two episodes of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy with his friend Douglas Adams) sought out the funniest contributors he could find, roping in the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Alan Davies and, of course, Stephen Fry. He also needed illustrations and lots of them. And that’s where the relationship with members of the PCO started.
The annuals have featured work by Jonathan Cusick (cover of the ‘G’ Annual), Adrian Teal (who also painted the cover of the ‘F’ annual), and Stevyn Colgan. This Christmas, the brand new ‘H’ Annual will feature more submissions from Adrian and Stevyn. Also, the first three E, F and G Annuals are being bundled into a softback compilation edition in November with a brand new cover by Stevyn. And, for the first time, artwork by Adrian and Stevyn will be seen on the TV show itself gracing the big screens behind the panellists in the episode on ‘Horses’ and ‘Humans’.
Some of you might remember me banging on like a girly bubble-brain about how delighted I was to be contributing cartoons to the QI spin-off books a couple of years ago. Things have moved on a little, and I have now contributed some illustrations to the TV show itself. I attended a recording with a friend on Friday, and probably lost any semblance of coolness when mingling with Messrs Fry, Davies, Clarkson, and Mitchell in the green room. It’s always fantastic to find new markets for your work, and cartooning has taken me to some interesting places. And it’s always nice to deal with people who are friendly, appreciative, and creative, which the QI crowd certainly are. It was their 100th show on Friday. Happy birthday, QI. Here’s to the next 100.
QI is set to return to our screens with a new series later this year whilst episodes from previous series are being shown on BBC2 currently. The QI Annual 2010, with artwork by Adrian Teal is out now.
The Eggheads (Chris Hughes, Daphne Fowler, CJ de Mooi, Barry Simmons, Judith Keppel and Kevin Ashman) by Cartoonists' team member Chris Burke
The Cartoonists, a team put together by the Professional Cartoonists Organisation, stormed to victory on the TV quiz show Eggheads last night, after winning each of their head-to-head rounds. Egghead Kevin Ashman described it as “the most comprehensive defeat we’ve ever had”. Here, team captain Alex Hughes explains how it all happened
For the uninitiated, Eggheads itself is a fairly straightforward quiz. Each day, a new team of challengers goes up against the Eggheads, a team comprising past winners of other TV and radio quizzes such as Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Mastermind, Fifteen to One, The Weakest Link and Brain of Britain – the cream of British quiz talent.
The Cartoonists (Alex Hughes, Royston Robertson, Robert Duncan, Graham Fowell and Martin Rowson)
For our bout, the Eggheads team comprised Kevin Ashman, CJ de Mooi, Daphne Fowler, Chris Hughes and Barry Simmons. Judith Keppel was waiting in the wings and Chris Burke was the stand-in for the Cartoonists.
The first four rounds are a series of head-to-head questions from a given category, where we pick one of our team to go up against our pick from the Eggheads. The contestants then go into the “question room” (in reality, a bench behind the main set) and are given three multiple choice questions each. If there’s no outright winner, it goes to “sudden death”.
The winner of each round is “safe” and allowed to compete for their team in the final round, whilst the loser is not. The final round is a general knowledge team round with the surviving challengers competing directly against the surviving Eggheads for the prize money, which, if it’s not won is rolled-over to the next day.
The Cartoonists (Alex Hughes, Robert Duncan, Royston Robertson, Chris Burke, Graham Fowell and Martin Rowson) outside BBC Television Centre
On the day of the filming we arrived bright and early on a crisp January morning with, as requested, a selection of light, brightly coloured non-patterned shirts at BBC Television Centre in White City, London. After resting in the former Top of the Pops Green Room we were ushered into the studio, which is when the nerves kicked in. Make-up was applied, microphones were attached and we met host Jeremy Vine.
There wasn’t much time for chit-chat though (up to five episodes are shot per day), so we went straight into the contest …
…and we won! We were only the sixth team out of the ten series to beat the Eggheads in each of the first four rounds. But to top that, we are the first team to have beaten the Eggheads outright, winning in every single round plus the final – we only got three questions wrong between us in the whole show.
And best of all, the last question, which surviving Egghead Kevin Ashman could not answer, was a cartoon question.
So, well done, team, we did brilliantly! Congratulations to Robert, Royston, Graham, Martin, and Chris in reserve. And our thanks to Al Capp‘s Shmoo…
The editor adds: The BBC iPlayer recording of the show should be available online until November 5th 2009.
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As mentioned previously in the year here on Bloghorn, a team representing the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation is set to appear on the BBC quiz show Eggheads. The team, comprising Chris Burke, Royston Robertson, Robert Duncan, Graham Fowell, Martin Rowson and myself, Alex Hughes, will air on BBC2 at 6pm on Thursday 29th October. Obviously, we can’t let you know how we did, but you can expect full coverage here on Bloghorn the following day…
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