Children's illustrator says 'It's a huge surprise in one way and in another I've got used to it'
The 80-year-old said: "It's a huge surprise in one way and in another I've got used to it.
"I'm published a lot in France and Europe generally and a lot of them assume that I am one [a knight]. In fact there was a broadcast on French radio that referred to me as Lord Quentin all the way through."
The artist – from Sidcup in south-east London – saw his first drawings published in the satirical magazine Punch when he was just 16, before he read English at Cambridge. He gained teaching qualifications after National Service, and studied at Chelsea School of Art.
Blake first drew the images for a children's book in 1960, A Drink Of Water, which had been written by a friend, and by 1968 he was writing the words too, beginning with his book Patrick.
In the 1970s he became a familiar face on TV, working on more than 150 episodes of Jackanory with his pictures, including those for Aiken's popular Arabel and Mortimer stories, about a young girl and her pet raven.
The artist said: "In December I was pleased to have two exhibitions at the same time and they were not retrospectives, and recently I've done a lot of work for museums and hospitals." PA