"My new book Mr Chicken Lands on London is
my twentieth in twenty years. I think of it as a kind of love
story. Originally I never thought he â€“ Mr Chicken that is, would go
anywhere but Paris. However this big beast is hardly a homebody,
and as London is his favourite city in all the world, and mine too, it
was inevitable that he should take off again and head for England.
Now I have been to London over twenty times. It may not be as beautiful
as Paris, as dramatic as New York or as historically rich as Rome, but
as a city, a place, I love it, warts and all. I had two ambitions
as a child. One was to be an
artist. The other was to â€˜go to Englandâ€™, because thatâ€™s where
the things I drew were; castles, knights, pirates, Richard the
Lionheart and Robin Hood.
As far as Mr Chicken Lands on London is concerned, I
canâ€™t remember when I actually started to work on it. For ages
Iâ€™d wanted to do something about London, either draw it or write about
it - wondering what it was that kept me wanting to go back, again and
again. Whoâ€™d have thought that Mr Chicken would, on my behalf, set out
on this quest.
(Photos: Left: Savoy Hotel. This shows the
side which faces the Thames. Mr Chicken stays in The River View Deluxe
suite up the top. Alas, Leigh Hobbs cannot afford to stay here. He
stays in The Strand Palace Hotel which faces the other side of the
Savoy. Right: Mr Chicken's Landing Place).