Entertainment

Snowman creator Raymond Briggs’ will funded cancer research in memory of wife

For the 40th anniversary of The Snowman, Channel 4 will also air a documentary about how the film was first made.
For the 40th anniversary of The Snowman, Channel 4 will also air a documentary about how the film was first made. For the 40th anniversary of The Snowman, Channel 4 will also air a documentary about how the film was first made.

A blood cancer charity has paid tribute to the late Raymond Briggs this Christmas after he donated to them in his will.

Blood Cancer UK revealed when The Snowman creator died at the age of 88 in August he made annual donations to their research after his wife Jean died from leukaemia in 1973.

The charity also said on Thursday that “the gift” Briggs gave in his will continues to help them fund research into all blood cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Blood Cancer UK said: “Raymond was right when he said ‘we all die’, but sometimes, the good we do lives on after we’re gone.

“Raymond hasn’t just left us with his wonderful stories. He also left us at Blood Cancer UK a generous gift in his will, in memory of his…wife, Jean.”

The charity added his donations mean “breakthroughs” in research and “more time with the people they love”.

They also said: “So this Christmas, as we’re watching The Snowman, we won’t just be feeling sad that Raymond has gone… we’ll be feeling grateful for what’s he’s left behind.”

Briggs was best known for creating the classic 1978 picture book The Snowman, which has sold more than 5.5 million copies around the world.

Raymond Briggs
Raymond Briggs Raymond Briggs won numerous prizes during his career, including the Kurt Maschler Award, the Children’s Book of the Year and the Dutch Silver Pen Award. (PA)

An animated version of the book made for Channel 4 in 1982 has become a festive staple and has been shown on TV every Christmas since.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary this year, the broadcaster will also give an insight into how the film was made in a new documentary with contributions from illustrator Dapo Adeola and McFly band member Tom Fletcher.

His other best-known works were published between 1973 and 1984 and also included Father Christmas Goes On Holiday and The Tin-Pot Foreign General And The Old Iron Woman.

He won numerous prizes during his career, including the Kurt Maschler Award, the Children’s Book of the Year and the Dutch Silver Pen Award.

The Snowman: The Film That Changed Christmas airs Saturday December 17 at 5pm on Channel 4.