Cartoonist Matt ‘turning into character’

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Media captionMatt has been amusing Telegraph readers for three decades

The satirical musings of the Daily Telegraph’s cartoonist have seen him turning into his own characters.

It is 30 years since a chance drawing became a career for Matt Pritchett, referred to as Matt, on the front page of the newspaper every day.

In a interview on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, he revealed the regular couple who appear in their armchairs in his cartoons were based on real people.

But now he thinks his own character is “the only one who speaks any sense”.

“When I first started drawing them I thought they were fools,” he said.

“Now of course, a bit like owners end up looking like their dogs, I have turned into them.

“I am obsessed with when my bin is going to be emptied and all the other things that obsess him.”

Matt’s first cartoon came the day after the Telegraph printed the wrong date on the front of the paper, telling its readers it was Thursday 25 February 1988 a day early.

“The readers were so furious that they all rang in to say they had a row in the Post Office [or had] been to a doctor’s appointment that didn’t happen,” he said.

“So Max Hastings, who was the editor, had to write a front page apology and they said we need a cartoon with this.

“I was literally just standing there not doing anything so they got me to do a cartoon.”

Image caption Matt’s first cartoon was inspired by the wrong date on the Telegraph front page

Since then, Matt has appeared as a daily fixture on the paper’s front page, dealing with topics from Mad Cow Disease through to MPs’ expenses.

But the cartoonist does have one request for Prime Minister Theresa May, to help him along when it comes to Brexit.

“I was going through cartoons from when I started and we were all obsessed with the Maastricht treaty then, so for me it has been going on since the 1990s,” he said.

“So I would like to ask Theresa if she could move it on a bit. I am running out of jokes about transition.”

Matt has notched up some famous fans.

As well as Mrs May praising him on his anniversary, he once received a letter from the Duke of Edinburgh, saying he was an avid reader of the cartoon.

“I was thrilled and touched and amazed,” he said.

“You don’t know when you are drawing them who is looking. It really was a high point.”

But does Matt have any advice on being able to find humour in the news?

“I can’t remember who it was that said that nothing matters very much and hardly anything matters at all,” he said.

“But if I say that to myself five times a day, then you do think, ‘let’s calm down, there must be a funny side to this’.”

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