SLIDESHOW: A lighthearted look at a load of old jokes

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He’s been called the funniest man in Sheffield since … well, since his dad.

James Whitworth is The Star cartoonist who, like his father Ralph before him, keeps readers chuckling with his sketches taking a sideways swipe at city life.

James Whitworth

James Whitworth

Now, however, he’s set to go one step further than the old man. James is compiling a book of his best non-news and non-Sheffield cartoons, and it’s set to be released by the end of the year.

Today, he gives Diary readers an exclusive look at a handful of the more than 100 set for inclusion in the tome.

“I love doing current affairs stuff,” he says today. “I’m a newspaper cartoonist so that’s my bread and butter.

“But I just love plain old simple gags too. Every day, I’ll draw a couple of cartoons which aren’t topical and don’t relate to anything specifically – it’s an exercise to keep you sharp – and I’ve been thinking for a while they might make a nice book.

“I’ve spoken to a couple of possible publishers, and things are moving. The beauty about joke cartoons is they don’t have a shelf life. Most of these could have been written any time in the last 50 years.”

And the book would give him one over his father – generally considered one of the finest newspaper cartoonists never to work on Fleet Street.

“He was as good as they come,” says James, 44, of Fulwood. “People call him a genius and I don’t think that’s wrong. But he never had a book of gags like this, so I’m going to take that.”