A FORMER Ellesmere Port-based artist has been named the winner of the £25,000 Turner Prize.

Mark Leckey’s exhibition included cartoon characters such as Homer Simpson.

Felix the Cat, Garfield, and the Titanic movie also appeared in a film by him, in which Mr Leckey was seen lecturing on his love of animation.

The 44-year-old was born in Birkenhead and lived at one time in Ellesmere Port, where he still has family and friends.

He graduated from Newcastle Polytechnic, later moving to London.

At the end of December, he was named the winner of the Turner Prize 2008 at a ceremony at London’s Tate Britain, hosted by musician and writer Nick Cave.

Mr Leckey had been initially shortlisted for his solo exhibitions Industrial Light & Magic at Le Consortium, Dijon, and Resident at Kolnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, combining sculpture, film, sound and performance.

The jury commended the intelligent, energetic and seductive nature of his work.

Receiving his award, he said: “I really haven’t prepared anything. I’m chuffed to bits.

“I’m reverting to my roots and getting Scouser as I talk.”

Mr Leckey was the only man on this year’s shortlist; only three women have ever won.

The Turner Prize is awarded each year for what is judged to be the best work of contemporary visual art by a British artist under 50.