Dick King-Smith, the much-loved author behind children’s books The Sheep Pig and The Queen’s Nose has died at the age of 88.
The Gloucestershire-born author fought in World War Two with the Grenadier Guards and was then a farmer for 20 years before turning his hand to writing.
The animal-lover’s first novel, The Fox Busters, was published in 1978 with the then 56-year-old a latecomer to the writing game.
It was the first of more than 100 books that he would write over a prolific 30-year period, selling more than five million copies in the UK alone.
But he will be best remembered for his ‘1983’ book The Sheep Pig, about a piglet which is taken in by the farmer’s sheep dog and taught to herd livestock.
The Sheep Pig was later adapted for the big screen in 1995 as ‘Babe’ with the heartwarming movie grossing $66 million at the box office – a film the author loved.
Another one of his books, The Queen’s Nose, where children could make a wish by rubbing a 50 pence piece, was turned into a popular BBC series.
Despite being a world-renowned author, the animal lover remained true to his home land, never living far from his birthplace.
He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2010.
Dick passed away in his sleep at his home in Keynsham, Somerset – less than three miles from his birthplace. He leaves behind his wife Zona, his children, 14 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.