Illustration, Print and Web Design

Tommy Cooper

Welsh Heroes Project-series of 24 digital illustrations of Welsh heroes, created as part of a Madog Fellowship for the study of Welsh Culture, 2006.

Although he was born in Caerphilly, Tommy Cooper moved to Exeter with his family when he was a young child. He became fascinated with magic tricks, and practiced for hours, never actually becoming a stage magician, but instead working a variety of magic tricks into his comedy act. Of course the magic tricks usually failed in humorous fashions, but occasionally one would succeed, much to the delight and surprise of the audience. These kinds of oddities and general absurdities were the staples of his career, including his trademark red fez, which was initially a last-minute substitute for the pith helmet that his act called for. When the fez got laughs, he kept it, despite the fact that it had little or no connection to his act.

Cooper’s work remains very popular, and his many skits and performances still maintain their fresh and friendly wit.