The artist behind the popular Mr Men and Little Miss books has spoken about the characters' origins, as Royal Mail launches stamps celebrating the series.
In a video interview for Royal Mail, Mr Men artist Adam Hargreaves, who lives in Heathfield, East Sussex, said it was a 'real accolade' for the characters to feature in the special run of stamps.
During the interview, Adam spoke about how his father Roger Hargreaves had been inspired to create the characters. He said: "My father created the Mr Men in 1971 so we're in our 45th anniversary, which is a very long time indeed that the Mr Men have been around.
"He was always a creative man, sort of really into ideas and he had lots of ideas before the Mr Men none of which got off the ground. It was idea that I prompted by asking my father one of those impossible questions that little children like to ask their parents.
"My question was: 'what does a tickle look like'. He actually came up with an idea, which sort of evolved into Mr Tickle. I think he realised that there was more you could do with this and he started to personify other human characteristics and emotions and that created the whole series of characters that became the Mr Men."
His father's series proved incredibly popular and to date there are a total of 50 Mr Men characters.
After the publication of the first titles in the Mr. Men series, Roger Hargreaves also began writing the Little Miss stories, and in September 1981 readers were introduced to 13 new personalities, including Little Miss Bossy, Little Miss Naughty and Little Miss Sunshine. To date 36 Little Miss titles have been published.
Adam took over the series following his father's death and, to date, has created 12 characters, the most recent of which is Mr. Adventure, whose story was published earlier this year.
To celebrate the iconic series, Royal Mail has today (Thursday) announced plans to release a series of special edition stamps
Stamps that feature in the set are: Mr. Happy; Little Miss Naughty; Mr. Bump; Little Miss Sunshine; Mr. Tickle; Mr. Grumpy; Little Miss Princess; Mr. Strong; Little Miss Christmas and Mr. Messy.
Adam said: “I feel incredibly proud and I think my father would have been equally proud and really chuffed. It’s a real accolade for the Mr Men and Little Miss characters to be on a Royal Mail stamp.”
Philip Parker, Royal Mail, said: “The Mr. Men and Little Miss characters are a worldwide phenomenon. People identify with the different character traits, and we hope these stamps will brighten up the sending and receiving of mail.”
The stamps are available from October 20 at www.royalmail.com/mrmen or from your local post office.
Don't miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you'll be amongst the first to know what's going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on 'sign in' (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don't miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.