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Bernard Cribbins helps paint a radio portrait of one of this country's most successful but least well known cartoonists. The longest-running daily cartoon strip in the world is the work of Frank Dickens - his character "Bristow", the middle-aged office rebel, first appeared in 1961 and has been a well-loved feature of newspapers throughout the world ever since.

Dickens tried to make sense of his life as a cartoonist, and life in general, while pootling around the countryside in his old VW, the "Kaisermobile", but his autobiography remains unfinished. As a result - and despite being a legend in Fleet Street - he remains an enigma to most of his readers.

Michael Williams succeeded in lifting the character Bristow out of the newspaper in a Radio 4 series (described by the Daily Mail as "a model for sitcoms", with The Times claiming "The dull routine of office life has not been so hilariously transformed since the stage musical 'How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying'") and Bristow's inspiration can be seen in many workplace comedy creations including "Dilbert" and "The Office". Originally conceived as a guide to car maintenance, the strip that defined the humour in red-tape muddles has been a daily constant during its creators turbulent and eventful life.

Through the comical warp and woof of survival in Chipping Norton revealed in his diary entries and with the help of fellow cartoonists and artists MAC, Ralph Steadman, Bernard Cookson and Rick Brookes, perhaps we'll finally find out who the man is behind one of this country's (and now the world's) most successful cartoons.

Narrator: Bernard Cribbins.

Contributors include - Ralph Steadman, MAC, Bernard Cookson, Rick Brookes.

Producer: Neil Cargill
A Pier Production for BBC Radio 4.

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