GARDENERS’ World star Monty Don penned a touching tribute to beloved children’s author and illustrator Raymond Briggs.

Raymond, who is best known for his 1978 classic The Snowman, sadly passed away at the age of 88 on Wednesday.

BBCMonty reacts to the tragic passing of Raymond Briggs[/caption]

TwitterMonty tweeted a heartfelt tribute[/caption]

Taking to Twitter, Monty wrote: “Thank you Raymond Briggs for a life’s work magnificently celebrating the rich seam of very English pessimism. You enriched so many of our lives.”

Fans rushed to share their own messages of condolence.

One tweeted: “A thoughtful author and delightful illustrator, RIP Raymond Briggs #TheSnowman.”

Another said: “Illustration beyond compare. Still watching The Snowman and filled with emotion every year well into our fifties.”

A third penned: “Raymond Briggs brought so much magic and joy to so many. Rest in peace. And thank you for the memories.”

His heartbroken family announced he passed away yesterday in a statement.



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They said: “We know that Raymond’s books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news.  Drawings from fans – especially children’s drawings – inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond, and pinned up on the wall of his studio.

“He lived a rich and full life and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean, and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.”

His family told how Briggs enjoyed playing practical jokes and was known for his “irreverent humour”.

They also said he shared his “sense of fun and craziness” with his family and artist friends at parties.

His family added: “Raymond was much loved and will be deeply missed by his step-children, and step- grandchildren, by his dearest friends, by his devoted carers and team, and by his wonderful neighbours.  

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“His family would like to thank all of the team on Overton Ward at Royal Sussex County Hospital for their kind and thoughtful care of Raymond in his final weeks.”

Briggs was born in Wimbledon, South West London, in 1934 and showed a flare for illustration from an early age.

He is best known for classics such as Father Christmas, Father Christmas Goes on Holiday and Fungus the Bogeyman.

His most famous work, The Snowman, was published in 1978 as a wordless picture book and has gone on to sell over 5.5million copies around the world.

It was produced for TV in 1982 and has since become an annual Christmas classic.

Briggs has been awarded a string of accolades throughout his career – including the Kurt Maschler Award, The Children’s Book of the Year and the Dutch Silver Pen Award.

He was awarded a CBE for children’s literature in 2017 and was also handed a BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award.

Aled Jones said he owes Raymond Briggs a “debt of gratitude” as he led tributes to the author.

Jones, who rose to fame after he covered Walking in the Air for The Snowman, told his Classic FM show: “What a legacy he leaves behind.

“His books have touched millions of people all around the world, and what a debt of gratitude I owe to his greatest creation of all. Thank you, Raymond.”

AlamyBriggs was best known for children’s classic The Snowman[/caption]

AlamyThe illustrator showed a flare for cartooning from a young age[/caption]

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