Bill Tidy, the beloved cartoonist renowned for his quick-witted and masterful artistry on popular shows such as Countdown and Countryfile, has passed away at the age of 89.
His devoted family, including his children Sylvia and Rob, were by his side and paid tribute to their “most brilliant cartoonist and the very best dad”. Tidy’s lasting contributions to the art world include his celebrated works The Fosdyke Saga and The Cloggies, which captured the hearts of audiences throughout his illustrious career.
Sadly, Tidy’s health had been in decline in recent years after he suffered two serious strokes. Nonetheless, he continued to inspire and entertain, earning the admiration and respect of all those he encountered.
Born in Liverpool in 1933, Tidy did not have any formal artistic training but began his working life in the Royal Engineers branch of the Army. He sold his first sketch to a Japanese newspaper in 1955 and went on to publish cartoon strips in numerous national newspapers, including The Fosdyke Saga for the Daily Mirror and The Cloggies for Private Eye.
The Fosdyke Saga was such a success that it was eventually adapted into a 42-part radio series for the BBC in 1983. In addition to his newspaper work, Tidy appeared on many television shows, including Watercolour Challenge, Countdown, Blankety Blank, and Countryfile, and illustrated over 70 books.
Tidy’s contributions to journalism and the art world were recognized with an MBE in 2000, and he played a pivotal role in establishing the British Cartoonists’ Association. His passing is a great loss to his family, friends, and fans alike, and his legacy will undoubtedly endure for generations to come.