Giles Andreae is the creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain’s favourite stickman. This cartoon character has made Giles the country’s top selling living poet and an icon of contemporary popular culture.
100 million greetings cards and 3 million Purple Ronnie books have been sold – several of which reach the Sunday Times top 10 bestsellers lists every year. Purple Ronnie’s extensive range of merchandise, ranging from confectionery to condoms, has generated sales of over £500 million. In April 2007, Giles sold Purple Ronnie to Coolabi plc, a stock market listed specialist IP ownership and exploitation company.
Giles is also the creator of The Interesting Thoughts of Edward Monkton, another iconic and bestselling range of greetings cards and books. Inspirational, playful, funny and thought-provoking, the brand has recently expanded into a larger collection of additional merchandise, including products as diverse as petware, cufflinks, toilet brushes and branded wines. 14 Edward Monkton books have been published since 2004, with sales exceeding 500,000 copies and several Sunday Times Top 10 bestsellers.
In 2008, Google invited Edward Monkton to become one of 80 of what they describe as “world-class artists and innovators” whose work can be used to customise the Google homepage. Other artists include Bob Dylan, Gucci, Philippe Starck and Stella McCartney. The Edward Monkton Google theme is consistently one of the most popular on the site. Giles continues to work closely with Google on other projects including, most recently, designing work to support the launch of the Nexus Smartphone.
Giles was awarded the greetings card industry’s Honorary Achievement Award in 2011. He was the first ever creative in the industry to win this accolade.
In 2010 the BBC commissioned Giles to write and direct his own series of 13 animated short stories for children about love and happiness. The result, World of Happy by Giles Andreae, was broadcast on CBBC and was released as a major new publishing brand by Egmont in April 2011. Giles retains all merchandising rights and an extensive licensing programme is currently being planned.
Giles has had many other children’s books published, several of which have won national and international awards. They include Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean, Pants and the Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs series. However, it is probably for the international bestseller Giraffes Can’t Dance that he is best known. This multi million-selling title is currently touring as a musical, and has helped to establish Giles as one of the UK’s top selling picture book authors.
Giles’s other work has included poetry installations for The Natural History Museum and for the Selfridges Millennium windows. He is an ambassador for The Arts Award and he sits on the board of the UCL Cancer Trust, a disease which he overcame in his early twenties, following extensive experimental treatment.
Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children’s clothes designer, and their 4 young children by the river in Oxfordshire.