Andrew Birch was born in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in 1952. Despite a remarkable facility for drawing Pterodactyls, he was pushed towards the academic side at school, and ended up reading Microbiology at London University, thus knowing a lot about bacteria and viruses. Realising the error of his ways, he spent the next few years in the Derbyshire countryside trying to be a writer, working in bars and restaurants to support himself.
When this came to nothing, Birch started submitting cartoons to various publications, eventually returning to London and getting his first proper job as News Cartoonist of Nature, the Science journal. Soon afterwards he began drawing cartoons and illustrations for The Times Higher Education Supplement.
Birch then started his first strip, The Designers, in the newly-launched Design Week, and subsequently drew several other strips, including Media Tarts (The Guardian), Hot Air (The Observer), Urban Fox (The Financial Times), Perv's Palace (Forum) and The Hypochondriac (The Sunday Times).
At the age of forty Birch moved to Spain, settling first in Barcelona and then Malaga, where he had a long-running political strip. He now divides his time between Malaga and Brighton, currently working for Private Eye (Young British Artists and joke cartoons), The Independent (The Luvvies and occasional writing about Spain), Tribune magazine (Backbiter), The Oldie (The Rebel), and is also topical cartoonist for The Big Issue.
In 2016 it was announced that Birch's Oldie strip "The Rebel" was being filmed as a three-part series for UK television channel Gold, starring Simon Callow as Henry Palmer, the rebel of the title, who was described as an "anarchic, anti-establishment pensioner on steroids for the 21st Century."
Birch ascribes the fact that he has never been Cartoonist of the Year to “a conspiracy between editors and Freemasons”.
Andrew Birch’s website at www.birchcartoons.co.uk/
Information from Andrew Birch.
"Simon Callow to star in new sitcom The Rebel", British Comedy Guide, 14 January 2016: www.comedy.co.uk/tv/news/1987/the_rebel_gold_sitcom_starring_simon_callow/
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