Raymond Briggs: ‘Don’t call me the king of Christmas. I don’t like children, I try to avoid them’

As a version of Fungus the Bogeyman is about to hit our TV screens, the author explains why he hates the festive period

Next Sunday families across the UK will settle down to watch Sky One’s Christmas highlight, a three-part take on Raymond Briggs’s much-loved comic book Fungus the Bogeyman. It comes complete with special effects from Andy Serkis’s Imaginarium studio and a cast including Timothy Spall, Victoria Wood and Keeley Hawes. It is a clever, witty visualisation of Briggs’s slime-saturated world and one that will no doubt join those other Briggs classics The Snowman and Father Christmas as part of the annual festive viewing experience.

For the 81-year-old author, however, that reputation as the King of Christmas is a cross to bear. “In the book version of The Snowman, there’s no Christmas, there’s nothing Christmassy in Fungus, and Father Christmas is anti-Christmas,” he
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