Meet the real Little Miss Sunshine

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

If you're a real-life Mr Rude or a Miss Lucky, don't all the jokes wear just a little bit thin?


To mark the 40th anniversary of Roger Hargreaves’ cartoon phenomenon, we track down the Mr. Men namesakes.

Mr. Tickle

Former Big Brother contestant Jon Tickle, 37, lives near Staines in Surrey and designs databases for British Gas

"It's a perennial problem finding shirts that fit. Marks & Spencer do a good line in shirts 2ins longer than normal in the sleeve, but I often wear short sleeves. It's quite handy: I am 6ft 2in and have long arms. The ability to reach stuff is definitely a core skill."

Mr. Strong

Paul Strong, 48, of Rushden, Northamptonshire, is founder of Be Strong Life Coaching

"I remember when Mr. Strong was released. Before then, I would get teased because of my name, but things changed and it became a much more positive name for me. I used to get a little bit of bullying – I was called 'Mr Weak' because I was built like a pencil ... People still have a bit of fun with it, but it's become much more positive now."

Mr. Wrong

Sebastian Wrong, 39, is development director for London design and manufacturing company Established & Sons

"You get all the usual stuff at school: 'Wrong by name, wrong by nature', 'Two wrongs don't make a right'. And there was somebody called Wright, which led to more jokes. I'm launching my own shop at the end of the year, called the Wrong Shop."

Mr. Cool

Darren Cool, 26, is a photographer for the Brighton and Hove Studio

"I've been given a lot of Mr Men T-shirts ... In fact, my girlfriend was given a 'My boyfriend thinks he's Mr Cool' shirt. When I went on holiday to Jamaica I got a free boat ride because of my name. And my middle name is Robert, so my initials spell 'Dr Cool'."

Little Miss Sunshine

Hayley Sunshine, 29, of Harlow, Essex, is a field marketing executive

"I have just come back from LA and I've been telling everyone at work and they said, 'I bet everyone loved your surname'. In the business I work in, everyone knows me as Little Miss Sunshine. It's just a nice name. I think I have always been known as a bubbly character and the name fits, basically. I am very positive."

Mr. Snow

Robert Snow, 39, of Southampton is a speechwriter

"Every Christmas, people comment on my surname. Cashiers in banks say, 'Oh, it's your kind of weather'. I remember watching Mr. Men on TV, but I never knew there was a Mr. Snow – that's cool! Oh, I didn't mean to say that."

Little Miss Wise

Nicola Wise, 41, of Northampton, is agraphic designer

"I was Wise and then I got married and my surname became Tunbridge. Before I got divorced, I changed my name back to Wise by deed poll. I like the name: it's short, it's easier to spell. I like Nicola Wise as a person as well."

Mr. Bump

American-born JD Bump, 38, lives in Inverness, Scotland, and is the founder of coffee roasting business Nola Bump's Coffee Co

"I am not accident-prone at all. In college I used to make up a story, because lots of people thought it was a nickname and called me just 'Bump'. They didn't know it was my real name, so I'd make up this story about a hang-gliding accident."

Little Miss Neat

Amelia Neat, 35, lives near Bath and is insert sales manager for TRT Media Sales

"I am neat by name and neat by nature. I get that a lot ... I'm verging on OCD, really. I am always – especially round the house – tidying every five minutes, wiping down surfaces. My work desk has neat little piles of paperwork everywhere: things have to be just so."

Mr. Rude

Romain Rude, 31, originally from Lyons, France, is a selection analyst at direct marketing agency Proximity London

"Most of the time people think that it's a cool name, to be honest, or at least that's what they say ... I notice people laughing at it the most when I am in a doctor's waiting room or hospital ... I've just found out that Mr. Rude is actually French! I think we are rude compared to the English."

Little Miss Quick

Liz Quick, 48, is a lecturer in events management at the University of West London

"I get a lot of comments from people and the same old jokes: 'Are you really quick?' It used to be a nightmare at school sports day or in any races. Most people think they are the first to have thought of the joke. I often get people saying, 'Quick, quick, slow' and stuff like that."

Mr. Busy

Laurent Busy, 39, of London, is exchange permissions manager for IG Markets

"I get quite a lot of funny reactions. There's the obvious ones and the jokes: 'Are you busy?' There's always a lot of banter going on in the office. I also get the funny pictures that might be ripped off the internet: people might get a picture and superimpose my face on Mr Busy, who is all blue with a hat."

Mr. Tall

Andy Tall, 39, lives in London and is senior manager at Partnership Marketing Network

"I get a lot of questions about how to spell my surname, as if people can't believe it's real. I remember thinking it was great to share my name with a book character. It was also the time Star Wars came out, so I was probably wishing my name was Skywalker."

Little Miss Star

Hayley Star, 22, of St Albans, Hertfordshire, runs a dance school, Dancing Stars

"The name of the school was an easy choice. I find it really catchy and appealing to children ... Everybody always asks if it's a stage name, which it's not. It's funny really, no one understands. I nicknamed my little boy Rocco, 'Rock Star'. I'm sure he will be."

Little Miss Lucky

Claire Lucky, 33, of London, is a museum administrator at Sir John Soane's Museum

"My family are often asked if we are lucky. It does make people smile when we say, 'Lucky by name, lucky by nature!' I feel like I am Miss Lucky – I have good health and fantastic family and friends. I love my name. I couldn't bring myself to lose it if I were ever to marry – the best I could do is double-barrel it. I dated a Mr Star once: imagine being Mrs Lucky-Star! I would love to meet Mr Charm or Mr Smile ..."

Mr. Greedy

Peter Greedy, 46, of Cheltenham, is the inventor of Greeper laces

"People find my surname amusing at times and have a giggle when I introduce myself, but I'm in my 40s so it doesn't bother me any more. I've heard all the jokes before, so I'm used to it."

Mr. Messy

Frenchman Philippe Messy, 41, is partner in Knightsbridge restaurant Chabrot Bistrot d'Amis

"I'm not messy. I leave things around but I know where they are ... It's not the same spelling, but when I talk to someone who doesn't know the spelling, because of Lionel Messi, the Barcelona footballer, they always relate it to the famous Mr Messi."

Mr. Small

Mark Small, 20, of Southampton is a fashion student

"It's funny because, unlike any other children's book, the Mr. Men series will stay with me all my life. Once I locked my best friend outside his house. We saw the top bathroom window open. I climbed up and got in. I had no idea how I managed to fit through such a tiny window; maybe I am Mr Small after all."

Little Miss Shy

Zofnat Shy, 42, of London is a support engineer

"I moved to the UK five years ago from Israel, where my surname is common and is derived from Hebrew. However, I am not shy at all! I am very outspoken and very direct in my approach. Ask any of my friends or family and they will tell you that I am not backwards in coming forward."

Mr. Jelly

Casper Jelly, 30, of London, is a software developer

"In general I grew up with a lot of teasing, and it didn't help when I started to put on weight in my teens. My first name didn't help either, but these days I'm far more likely get compliments about both my names."

Calling Little Miss Magic...

Some of the 47 Mr. Men and 34 Little Misses published have proved rather elusive. Where are the real Mr Nosey and Mr Fussy? Do you know a Mr Lazy, Mr Noisy or Mr Chatterbox? Is it possible there is a Mr Impossible? We found a Mrs Magic but no Little Miss. Is there a Little Miss Naughty out there or Little Miss Trouble? Contact us via email at sundaynews@ independent.co.uk if you know where they are

Good, Muddle, Grumble

The 20 people featured weren't the only ones we found sharing their names with Mr. Men and Little Misses.

Spare a thought for 63-year-old Mr Grumble, of Ipswich, whose name makes it difficult for him to complain: "If you call a helpline, you go through the whole process of saying what's wrong, but there always comes the time when you have to give your name, and you can sense them thinking, 'Well, that makes sense'," explains Geoff, a quality manager at Actaris Metering Systems.

There are probably a lot of people out there hoping to meet Mr Perfect; we found him in Norwich. Tim Perfect, 39, is director of Sigman, a storage company. He keeps a copy of the Mr. Men book on his desk. Meanwhile, Mr Muddle – aka 32-year-old Nick from Glasgow, who is sales manager for Scottoiler, a motorbike chain lube system manufacturer – has a picture of the other Mr. Muddle pinned to his office door. And Mr Good – 31-year-old creative director James, of Swansea – gets a lot of "That's good, Good", when presenting work.

Michael Slow, 65, of Leicester, does not live up to his name. "You name it, I've been it, but I've not been slow at it," he says. "I used to be a milkman. I had to be out at 4am. There wasn't a chance to be slow." But whatever their name, the Mr Men – including architect David Mean, 50, from London – have heard all the jokes before. However, project manager Gary Rush, 29, of Nottingham, says those who make jokes about being in a rush are, thankfully, "a rare and peculiar breed".

Win

One lucky reader can win the complete Mr. Men box set, containing 47 books, worth £117. There are also 10 copies of Mr. Tickle, signed by Adam Hargreaves, up for grabs. Each book in the series introduced a different character and his/her personality to convey a simple moral message. Send us your idea for a new Mr. Men or Little Miss character and the reason for your choice. There will be points for artistic flair! Send your entries, by 4 September, to: Mr. Men Competition, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF.

Arts and Entertainment
Stewart Lee (Gavin Evans)

comedy

Arts and Entertainment
No half measures: ‘The Secret Life of the Pub’

Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air

Arts and Entertainment
Art on their sleeves: before downloads and streaming, enthusiasts used to flick through racks of albums in their local record shops
musicFor Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Arts and Entertainment
Serial suspect: the property heir charged with first-degree murder, Robert Durst
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Igarashi in her

Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
It's all in the genes: John Simm working in tandem with David Threlfall in 'Code of a Killer'

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Far Right and Proud: Reggies Yates' Extreme Russia

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West was mobbed in Armenia after jumping into a lake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The show suffers from its own appeal, being so good as to create an appetite in its viewers that is difficult to sate in a ten episode series

Game of Thrones reviewFirst look at season five contains some spoilers
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey on the Red Carpet for 2015's Olivier Awards

Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awards

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Proving his metal: Ross Poldark (played by Aidan Turner in the BBC series) epitomises the risk-taking spirit of 18th-century mine owners

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne is reportedly favourite to play Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

film
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars in dystopian action thriller Mad Max: Fury Road

film
Arts and Entertainment
Josh, 22, made his first million from the game MinoMonsters

Grace Dent

Channel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
News
Disgraced Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game face: Zoë Kravitz, Bruce Greenwood and Ethan Hawke in ‘Good Kill’

film review

Arts and Entertainment
Living like there’s no tomorrow: Jon Hamm as Don Draper in the final season of ‘Mad Men’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
Yaphett Kotto with Julius W Harris and Jane Seymour in 1973 Bond movie Live and Let Die

film
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment

film
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own