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The Snowman's Raymond Briggs Buys £3 Charity Shop Clothes, Says Book Is About Death, Not Christmas

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The simple pleasure of the holiday season are lovingly portrayed in Raymond Briggs' The Snowman - and its creator doesn't go in for rampant Christmas consumerism either, choosing £3 shirts from charity shops and spurning foreign holidays.

He told the Radio Times: "Huge amounts of money have been generated by The Snowman. I'm not interested.

raymond briggs

The Snowman's creator Raymond Briggs

"I read it's sold three million copies, but publishers bandy about numbers that aren't usually true.

"I don't spend anything. I don't like going abroad - the Gatwick airport hell-hole.

"I buy clothes from charity shops, although I draw the line at trousers.

"I saw a shirt for £88, mine coast £3."

The famous book, which led to the animated version, was not about joy and Christmas, but about death, Briggs said.

"The idea was clean, nice and silent. I don't have happy endings. I create what seems natural and inevitable. The snowman melts, my parents died, animals die, flowers die. Everything does. There's nothing particularly gloomy about it. It's a fact of life."

"I thought, 'It's a bit corny and twee, dragging in Christmas', as 'The Snowman' had nothing to do with that, but it worked extremely well."

"I support the principle of a day of feasting and presents, but the anxiety starts in October: how many are coming? Are they bringing grandchildren? How long will they stay?"

The 78-year-old author has finally agreed to a sequel to his classic TV version of The Snowman.

The TV version of The Snowman has been screened on Channel 4 every year since 1982 and a £2 million, 24-minute sequel, The Snowman And The Snowdog, is being broadcast this Christmas.

He endorsed the follow-up, partly because it was hand-drawn, and said: "It would have been cashing in to do it before. Now it won't do any harm, and it's not vulgar and American.

"I've never touched a computer, or anything like that. CGI makes everything too perfect, but they're sticking to the old ways. I'm a notorious grumbler, but I found nothing to grumble about."

Briggs admitted he does not read many children's books and is "not a fan of Christmas", despite the animated version of his famous book featuring a visit to Father Christmas at the North Pole.

"You can't keep up with the damned things," he said of children's books.

"I've never read Enid Blyton. I went once to Roald Dahl's birthday party so must have read something of his. He was fairly curmudgeonly."

The sequel's co-producer Camilla Deakin said most of the film was hand-drawn because "computer-generated imaging can be too perfect", but she added that computers were used at the end "to finesse the pictures, adding digital snow and lighting effects".