Gardeners' World star Monty Don has paid tribute to author and illustrator Raymond Briggs, who has sadly passed away at the age of 88.
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Taking to Twitter, Monty praised Raymond, who is best known for his 1978 classic The Snowman, for "enrich[ing] so many of our lives". He wrote: "Thank you Raymond Briggs for a life's work magnificently celebrating the rich seam of very English pessimism. You enriched so many of our lives."
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Many of Monty's followers were left touched by his post and took to the comment section to share their own messages of condolence. "A thoughtful author and delightful illustrator, RIP Raymond Briggs #TheSnowman," one said, while another wrote: "Well said, Monty!"
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A third called Monty's words "The best homage yet," and another added: "Illustration beyond compare. Still watching The Snowman and filled with emotion every year well into our fifties."
The news of the much-loved illustrator's passing was confirmed by his family, who said he "was much loved and will be deeply missed".
"We know that Raymond's books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news," they said, in a statement on Wednesday. "Drawings from fans - especially children's drawings - inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond and pinned up on the wall of his studio.
The Snowman creator Raymond Briggs has sadly passed away at the age of 88
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"He lived a rich and full life and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.
"He shared his love of nature with Liz on South Downs walks and on family holidays to Scotland and Wales. He also shared his sense of fun and craziness with his family, and with his family of artist friends - at get-togethers, fancy dress parties, and summer picnics in the garden."
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