Roger Hargreaves, creator of the Mr Men and Little Miss characters and stories, was born.
Roger, christened Charles Roger Hargreaves, grew up the son of a laundryman in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire. He was a successful advertising copywriter for 20 years, working with such clients as Lindt chocolates, Timex and Pimms.
However, his burning ambition since childhood was to be a cartoonist.
|1971||Over breakfast one morning, a young Adam
Hargreaves asked his father a question - "What does a tickle look like?"
Roger proceeded to draw a little orange person, with impossibly long arms,
a big toothy grin and a blue hat! And so, Mr Tickle was born... and with
him a children's phenomenon that has been enjoyed by generations ever
From Mr Tickle onwards, each of the characters creatively captured an individual human characteristic that everyone could recognise as part of themselves.
Surprisingly, it was initially a struggle for Roger to get the books published. The first six Mr Men Books - Mr Tickle, Mr Greedy, Mr Happy, Mr Nosey Mr Sneeze and Mr Bump - were rejected by the major publishing houses.
When they eventually did find a publisher, the little square, white format storybooks were an instant success, selling more than one million copies in the first three years. There are now over 40 Mr Men characters and stories.
|1975||The books soon found even greater fame, with the production of a BBC television series narrated by Dad's Army star Arthur Lowe (known to be somewhat of a Mr Uppity).|
|1976||The growing success of the Mr Men franchise allowed Roger Hargreaves to give up his office job altogether to concentrate on his cartoons.|
|1981||Little Miss Bossy, the first Little Miss book, was published. Little Miss Naughty, Little Miss Sunshine and all the other Little Misses soon followed. There are now over 30 Little Miss characters and stories.|
|1982||The Little Miss characters got their own BBC television series, narrated by husband and wife team John Alderton and Pauline Collins.|
|1984||Mr Christmas hits the shelves, adding another New Character to the Family.|
|1988||Roger Hargreaves passed away, His son Adam, whose innocent childhood question precipitated the entire Mr Men and Little Miss empire, now holds the pen in creating new characters and stories to add to the Mr Men and Little Miss family.|
|2001||As a celebration for the 30th Birthday of the Mr Men, a competition was held to create a new character, and the winner, Gemma Almond, inspired the creation of Mr Cheeky. The Mr Cheeky storybook was published by Egmont Books with all proceeds going to Children with Leukaemia charities.|
|2002||Mr Christmas was re -released, introducing another new story to the Mr Men range. Since his release, Mr Christmas has sold nearly half a million copies.|
|2004||Chorion PLC acquired all rights relating to Mr Men & Little Miss, and continue to work with Adam Hargreaves to ensure the brand remains faithful to Roger's original version.|
|2005||Roger Hargreaves was named the third
best-selling author in Britain to date, after JK Rowling and
Jacqueline Wilson. Roger's role as 'Mr Triumphant' emerged from a fiction
league table compiled by Waterstones and Nielson BookScan. Roger beat
authors such as John Grisham, Dan Brown and JRR Tolkien.
The Mr Men website, www.mrmen.com was re-launched in October with new games, activities and downloads. It has received over 3 million hits since re-launched and won New Media Age magazines Website of the Week Award in February 2006.
Following the phenomenal success of the M Christmas book, Egmont Books published Little Miss Christmas, she very quickly made her way to No. 2 in the Children's Bestseller List, with Mr Christmas making a reappearance at No.3.
The Mr Men and Little Miss celebrate their
The brand new Mr Birthday and Little Miss Birthday storybooks are launched in stores on Monday 3rd April. The animation Art Gallery launch a commemorative art exhibition of the Mr Men and Little Miss. Press, which opens on 4th April for six weeks. the first ever dedicated art exhibition will feature original sketches of these much-loved characters as well as some never-before-seen memorabilia from the Hargreaves family archive.
A fantastic competition will see one lucky child win the Best Birthday Party ever - complete with a hand-drawn card by Adam Hargreaves, bespoke cake, decoration, entertainment, and, of course, a visit from Mr Birthday and Little Miss Birthday.
A national search will be held to find the Biggest Mr Men Fan - both kids and adults, as well as the real life Mr Men and Little Misses - who is the real Mr Clumsy, or the real Miss Lucky?
The Mr Men and Little Misses will be entertaining kids visiting Chessington in May and September. And Mr Happy and his friends have been invited to help HRH The Queen celebrate her 80th birthday, along with 1000 children and other favourite characters from British children's literature.