Quentin Blake: The Drawing Of My Life is a new BBC documentary on the man who illustrated our childhoods

Blake – who’s best known for his illustrations of Roald Dahl’s books – will have his first documentary released by the BBC this December.

2 September 2021

Remember James’ gangly legs atop his bright watercolour peach? Or the grotesquely spiky hairs of The Twits? You can thank Sir Quentin Blake for your fondest literary memories of your innocent years. Quentin Blake: The Drawing Of My Life is the new documentary hoping to shed more light on a lesser seen side of the prolific British illustrator.

This Christmas we’ll learn about his epic 70-year-long career in his own words partnered with his own drawings. Blake – now 88 – has created a unique work especially for the documentary: a 30-feet-long and 7-feet-high canvas on which self-portraits and classic characters have been portrayed in Blake’s inimitable style.

The documentary isn’t only a treat for Blake fans but any bookworm or lover of illustrative art. There’s also contributions from collaborators and admirers of Blake’s work include David Walliams, Michael Rosen, Chris Riddel, Steven Appleby, Dapo Adeola and Josie Long. There will also be readings from some works which Blake has illustrated and offered to us in the form of performances from Peter Capaldi, Joanna Lumley and Ore Oduba.

We’ll be able to learn more about the special professional relationship between the artist and Roald Dahl who once said himself that “when people picture the BFG, what they see is Quent’s drawing,” and this is arguably true for most of Dahl’s characters. Although we learn that the original BFG drawing was actually rejected by the author.

The film is part of BBC Arts’s aim to profile “extraordinary creative figures”, which includes others such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Bernardine Evaristo, video artists Steina Vasulka and Woody Vasulka, and artist Brian Catling. The Quentin Blake documentary has been created by Wingspan Productions for BBC Two, produced and directed by Peter Sweasey.

You can watch the documentary this December on BBC Two.

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Courtesy of Wingspan Productions

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About the Author

Dalia Al-Dujaili

Dalia is a freelance writer, producer and editor based in London. She’s currently the digital editor of Azeema, and the editor-in-chief of The Road to Nowhere Magazine. Previously, she was news writer at It’s Nice That, after graduating in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh.

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