A PRIVATE Eye cartoonist - who stopped work for nine months to support his daughter through cancer - has received a top accolade for his work.

Mike Barfield’s topical and surreal cartoon, Apparently, has been running in the satirical magazine for 17 years.

Now the man who has previously written for television programmes including Spitting Image, Have I Got News For You and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire has been presented with the 2013 award for Strip Cartooning by the Cartoon Art Trust.

The botany graduate also recently published children’s book, Swat! A Fly’s Guide to Staying Alive.

The award for Mr Barfield, of Helperby, near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, follows a number of challenging months during which daughter, Alice, underwent treatment for aggressive bone cancer.

When she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in July last year, aged just 12, Mr Barfield suspended much of his work for nine months to care for her.

Alice completed her treatment in April, but the cancer returned and she is now undergoing further treatment.

Mr Barfield said during her illness he would send Private Eye a batch of his strip cartoons every couple of weeks.

Cartoons have also helped keep a smile on her face - as members of the British Cartoonist Association – an elite group of about 100 top cartoonists – sent her examples of their work  through the post.

Mr Barfield said: “My last year has been a bit of an odd one – a lot of my work I’ve had to put on hold. I’ve needed to be in hospital with my daughter for a lot of the time. She finished her treatment in April this year and we had a fantastic summer then we went for a consultation and found it had come back, so she’s getting treatment again.

“So to get this award against all that background has meant a lot more. I’m still flattered to be in Private Eye, it’s a fantastic magazine to work for.

“I’ve never had a proper job since I left school; writing and drawing jokes is what I do.”