Rare 1975 Frank Hampson interview for BBC Nationwide released

Frank Hampson - 28th November 1975
Frank Hampson, November 1975 Image: BBC

The BBC Archive has released a 1975 Nationwide feature and interview with Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson, recorded shortly after the artist and writer was voted Prestigioso Maestro at an international convention of strip cartoon and animated film artists held at Lucca, Tuscany.

A jury of his peers gave him a Yellow Kid Award and declared the co-creator of Eagle comic to be the best writer and artist of strip cartoons since the end of the World War Two.

Shot, we believe, on 28th November 1975, the item for the BBC early evening magazine programme of the day opens with the line “This obscure artist is a very extraordinary man”, the feature quickly reveals that while he may have been considered obscure in 1975, he was far from that and delves into his work on Eagle while shooting him at work on art for Ladybird Books.

Frank Hampson at work on art for Ladybird Books. Image: BBC
Frank Hampson at work on art for Ladybird Books. Image: BBC

Hampson speaks candidly about the honour bestowed and his time on both Eagle and Dan Dare.

While this interview has appeared online before, we think this is the first time the BBC has released it officially, and it’s wonderful to see Frank talking about his work – and even providing a drawing Dan and the Mekon for the closing minutes.

Frank Hampson - Dan Dare Props
Image: BBC
The Mekon by Frank Hampson - 1975
The Mekon by Frank Hampson

The interview also features Dan Dare props, used in the making of the 1950s version of the strip.

The feature appears on the BBC Archive Facebook Page here

• Official Frank Hampson web site: https://frankhampsonartwork.co.uk

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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