British Cartoon Archive


Don Roberts was born in Devon on 17 April 1936, the son of a hotelier. After spending more than seven years in RAF Fighter Command and the Air Ministry, he joined the Foreign Office in 1960 as a propaganda artist. By 1962 he was contributing cartoons to Time and Tide, and in 1964 he moved to the Daily Sketch as a staff artist, before becoming Art Director of the Daily Express in 1965.

Roberts left the Daily Express in 1971, and became a freelance cartoonist in the following year. Since then his work has appeared in more than fifty US and European publications including the Daily Express (notably the strip 'Spare Ribs' with Frank Dickens), Punch, Daily Mail, New Yorker, Paris-Match, Scottish Daily Record (the "Small World" strip from 1982 to 1991), Sunday Mirror (political cartoons in 1986), Daily Mirror, Reader's Digest, Farming News (from 1982 to 1991), Wales on Sunday (caricatures), Today (political and sports cartoons in 1988) and elsewhere.

Roberts has also drawn for advertising - for example the 1975 Guinness calendar - has produced cartoons for Channel 4's A Week in Politics from 1988 to 1993, and had illustrated and designed books. Since 1992 his work has mainly consisted of character origination for animation studios such as Treehouse Productions. He was one of the founder members of the British Cartoonists' Association in 1966 and is an admirer of Hoffnung, Goetz and Sempé. He works with a 1290 Gillott nib, brush, wax pencil, and watercolour.

Don Roberts passed away on 7th April, 2021.

  • Mark Bryant Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2000), p.188.



1 uncatalogued original [PU1853]


Undated (approx. 60s)

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