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Most of these fine-sounding words; all of them gems in the diadem of our beautiful language, and so elegantly illustrated by my mate, the matchless Mac, are not even my invention, although I have trumpeted them for years on BBC Radio Two as if they were. As always my inspiration has come from my loyal listeners; that merry band known as TOGS – Terry’s Old Geezers (and Gals). Without their ingenuity and deep-seated eccentricity, I would have been as an empty vessel “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.
Every morning, entering the dingy, dust- encrusted radio studio that the mice called home, my low spirits would be lifted by a flood of cheery, witty and yes, sometimes mildly insane, letters that brought a smile to my face, and more importantly for a broadcaster; words to my lips. Just think of the peace and quiet you might have enjoyed for years in the early morning...I’d blame the TOGS if I didn’t have so much to thank and love them for; their loyalty and their great work for Children in Need. As I said on the day I finished “Wake Up to Wogan”. To my listener, thank you for being my friend.
And I hope the words in this collection bring back as many happy memories for you as they do for me.
Stan McMurtry MBE, was born in Edinburgh in 1936 and is often referred to as Mac. After training at the Birmingham School of Art, he became a film cartoon animator, before joining the Daily Sketch as a political and social cartoonist. McMurtry is perhaps most famous for his work, since 1970, for British newspaper The Daily Mail.
McMurtry's work is essentially apolitical and he views his role as making ”dreary news copy of the daily paper brighter, by putting in a laugh”.
Mac's work has appeared in Punch and many other magazines.
He has written children's books and many short stories, with his book The Bunjee Venture made into a cartoon film. In the past he has also written scripts for both Tommy Cooper and Dave Allen and during the eighties he was a regular panellist on the BBC's The News Quiz.
Mac has been voted 'Cartoonist of the Year' five times and 'Political and Social Cartoonist' twice. In 1989 he was voted 'Man of the Year' by the charity RADAR and in 1999 the fourth top 'Cartoonist of the Century' (and the only one still alive) by his cartoonist peers. 'The Cartoon Arts Trust' awarded him 'The Pont Award' in 2002 and 'Master Cartoonist' in 2000 by the Cartoonist Club of Great Britain.
Mac was granted an MBE in the 2003 New Year's honours list for both his charity work and 'services to the newspaper industry'.
2010 see's Mac collaborating with the nations favourite broadcaster, Sir Terry Wogan bringing Terry's famous TOGS phrases to life in his own inimitable style.