The legendary cartoonist Stanley McMurtry, better known to millions as MAC, has picked up his magical pencil once again to rejoin The Mail on Sunday.
Ever since his retirement from the Daily Mail exactly two years ago, his drawings – wickedly funny but done with great warmth – have been sorely missed by readers.
However, it has been confirmed that Mac will return to the newspaper with a weekly cartoon in the Mail on Sunday, starting from next week.
His final cartoon in 2018 depicted himself being pushed reluctantly through the front gate of a home for retired cartoonists – with the caption ‘Oh, come on, Mac! You’re supposed to walk happily into the sunset’
Cartoonist Stanley McMurtry, 84, known as MAC, is coming back out of retirement after two years with a weekly cartoon in the Mail on Sunday, starting from next week
After 50 years on Fleet Street, Mac – who can count the Queen among his legion of fans – signed off from daily newspapers with a cartoon in December 2018, and handed over to his successor Paul Thomas.
But since then he has yearned to return saying he missed the joy of drawing and his head was still brimming with ideas.
His final cartoon depicted himself being pushed reluctantly through the front gate of a home for retired cartoonists – with the caption ‘Oh, come on, Mac! You’re supposed to walk happily into the sunset’.
As a taster for his return, he has drawn one cartoon for every month of 2020 as a special spread for tomorrow’s edition of the Sunday paper.
Last night, Mac said: ‘I found that I was sorely missing the sheer joy of drawing, and my head was still brimming with ideas.’
After 50 years on Fleet Street, Mac signed off from daily newspapers in December 2018, and handed over to his successor Paul Thomas (pictured together)
Among his legion of fans is the Queen. When she conferred him with an MBE for ‘services to the newspaper industry’, she remarked: ‘Ah, so you’re Mac, are you?’
Mac responded: ‘I hope you’re not offended by them,’ and she replied: ‘No, no. We always look at them. We like it when you put the corgis in.’
Stanley McMurtry pictured with his late wife Liz receiving an MBE at Buckingham Palace
Sir Tim Rice, the West End lyricist, has said: ‘Day after day, he brightened the morning with wit and superb draughtsmanship, sometimes making a serious point, sometimes a hilarious one, often both at once.’
Before becoming a cartoonist, initially on Punch magazine – in a tradition dating back centuries to one of his heroes, William Hogarth – Mac was an animator.
He joined the Daily Mail in 1971 and has won countless awards – ‘Cartoonist of the year’ seven times.
Instinctively, Mac shares the hopes and values of Middle Britain – his longevity being testament to his empathy and humanity.
Daily Mail readers will recall that almost every one of his drawings includes a small sketch of his late wife Liz’s face – hidden perhaps in a railing, fruit bowl or a tree.
She died from Motor Neurone Disease aged 69 in 2017 and as well as immortalising her in his cartoons, Mac wrote very movingly in the Mail about watching as the disease shut down her body, leaving only her mind working.
More recently, he called for the law to be changed to allow assisted dying.
When Edinburgh-born Mac went on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, he said his luxury would be a tenor saxophone.
Even though you live in a Tier Three area we didn’t want you to think you’d been forgotten – more gravy?
Ever since his retirement from the Daily Mail his drawings have been sorely missed by readers and Mac has yearned to return saying he missed the joy of drawing and his head was still brimming with ideas