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.
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.
The interview also features Dan Dare props, used in the making of the 1950s version of the strip.
• Official Frank Hampson web site: https://frankhampsonartwork.co.uk