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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK
Dahl illustrator in degree honour
An early edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
An early edition of Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The man whose illustrations helped bring to life the stories of children's writer Roald Dahl has visited Cardiff to receive an honorary fellowship.

Quentin Blake was being honoured by the university in the city where Dahl was born and spent his early years.

Prof Blake, who was made a CBE last year, provided illustrations for Dahl classics like The BFG and the Witches.

He said: "I've worked with a lot of people... but I suppose Roald was the most extraordinary".

Prof Blake chose to deliver his first lecture on working with Dahl in Cardiff, where the author of Norwegian descent grew up and attended the Cathedral School in Llandaff.

Quentin Blake
He was always coming up with something new, so you were always on your toes
Quentin Blake

He is now a children's writer himself and was made children's laureate in 1999, having created his own range of characters and also illustrated classic books for adults.

Prof Blake said of his relationship with Dahl, who died in 1990: "You never knew what was going to happen next."

Dahl's characters were "interesting but never the same," said Prof Blake, whose first drawings were published in the satirical magazine Punch when he was 16.

"He was always coming up with something new, so you were always on your toes."

"He just led me astray sometimes in the most interesting ways."

Oasis manager Marcus Russell, from Ebbw Vale, was also among those conferred with honorary degrees by Cardiff University at its annual ceremonies.

Marcus Russell
Marcus Russell has managed Oasis since before they found fame
A former teacher, Russell turned to music management in the 1980s and in 1993 acquired the then unknown Manchester band, going on to help them to become one of the UK's most successful rock bands of recent years.

For the past ten years he has also been the owner and benefactor of Ebbw Vale Rugby Club.

He said: "You'll no doubt be told hard work is essential if you're to be successful.

"This is true, but it's also important to believe you're very good at what you're working at, and are passionate about it, if you're going to be able to sustain hard work over any period of time."

Former BBC journalist Niall Dickson, the chief executive of the King's Fund, an independent health think-tank, was also among those honoured, as was the Archbishop of Cardiff, Peter Smith.

In pictures: Quentin Blake retrospective
16 Dec 03 |  Photo Gallery
Gallagher's Ebbw Vale date
29 Aug 00 |  Wales
Aberdeen host to Dahl illustrator
03 Jul 04 |  Scotland

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