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Michael Payne (born 13 April 1944) known by his professional name ""Mike Payne" is a British cartoonist, artist, illustrator, writer and actor best known for creating "Tatty Teddy" for the "Me to You" concept for Carte Blanche Greetings which he drew for seventeen years. He created "Teddy Bigfoot" and "The Miranda Gang" for the same company under his pen name of "Miranda". He is also the creator and writer of the Charlie's Ark children’s stories, Norm Bear (with Richard Digance) and was the cartoonist for Sky News.
Michael Payne (cartoonist) Wikipedia
Mike Payne was born in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England on 13 April 1944, the son of John Reginald James Payne, a cartographical draughtsman, and his wife Rosina Gwendoline, (née Kippax).
Greatly influenced by his father, and inspired by Walt Disney and Giles of the Daily Express, Payne was always drawing and painting as a child.
He attended Horley County School in Horley, Surrey, leaving at seventeen to take up employment as a Clerical Assistant in H M Land Registry in Lincoln’s Inn Fields in London and shortly transferred to the Tithe Redemption Office (Inland Revenue) in Finsbury Square, London, prior to a move to Worthing.
Payne spent 26 years in the Inland Revenue, where he rose to Senior Executive Officer.
Whilst with the Inland Revenue, Payne pursued an interest in entertainment and acting. After being spotted by an agent, he took a sabbatical and under the stage name Mike Dale formed a comedy double act, "Burke & Dale" with Mike Smith (performing as Mike Burke).
In 1982, represented by Peter Charlesworth, Burke & Dale were co-presenters (with Roger Royle, Lucy Morgan, John Junkin, Toni Arthur and Roz Hanby) on the Meridian TV Friday evening entertainment show "The Natives Are Getting Restless."
Other shows with ITV Meridian followed and in 1983/84 Burke & Dale were the comedy lead in Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of the pantomime "Aladdin" which starred Barbara Windsor, Christopher Timothy, Trevor Bannister and Aubrey Woods.
In 1986/7 Payne appeared on Sky News on Friday evenings around 6.35pm, as their cartoonist presenting his quirky take on the week’s news as well as his Cartoon of the Week.
In 1987 Stephen Haines approached Payne and asked him to create a bear with a "great depth of feeling" for his new company Carte Blanche Greetings. It was from this brief that Payne created the little grey, blue-nosed bear called "Tatty Teddy" for the "Me to You" concept.
The Press Office of the Inland Revenue at Somerset House were aware of his talent and recommended him to London ITV through John Kaye-Cooper Productions, which resulted in him appearing with Richard Digance in "Abracadigance" in 1988.
It was these TV appearances that persuaded him to leave the Inland Revenue in 1988 to pursue his career in cartooning and illustrating.
Under a variety of pen names, Payne had greeting cards published by companies Rustcraft, Hallmark UK, Hallmark USA, Royle and Dixons through his art agent, Michael Woodward.
Payne left Carte Blanche Greetings in 2004 and in 2006 created "Charlie’s Ark", about a five-year-old boy who brings the stuffed animals in his toy-box Ark to life by uttering a magic "Wordspell".
Two CDs; "Charlie’s Ark – The First Collection" and "Charlie’s Ark – The Second Collection" featuring songs written and performed by Patrick Adam, were recorded for Andrews UK Ltd in 2009.