While the work flowed in unceasingly, during late fifties and early sixties, there was one area, very important to any illustrator, that Val simply could not break in to. That was the 'Radio Times'. For an artist to have work regularly accepted by the Radio Times was the sign that this illustrator had reached the top of his profession.
Val in talking about his work with the 'Radio Times' says,
"Ever since the late twenties this magazine had a unique reputation for high-quality illustrations in black and white by some of the foremost illustrators of the day. By the early fifties it stood at the height of its reputation, with weekly circulation of over ten million, so that everybody would see your work in it, if only you could get in! I first went to see the editor when still at art school, but he dismissed me. I tried again a few years later, but he remained totally disinclined to avail his magazine of my services. So I gave up and tried to forget all about it."
And so the situation remained until one day the phone rang and the new editor of the Radio Times, Ralph Usherwood, asked Val if he would produce a drawing of an angel singing -- one column wide and three quarters of an inch deep.
Val takes up the story,
"He warned me that as there was no time to do a rough, I'd better start on the finished drawing straight away and let him have it by Monday morning -- this was Friday afternoon. I accepted, of course, with delight -- and trepidation, because I knew that if I muffed it, there was no time for a revise, and that I would be finished before I ever started. There never was a three quarter inch drawing that carried so many hopes on its column-width shoulders, and I took it in on Monday morning. Usherwood liked it and promptly asked me to do another drawing for the following week's edition.
That was the beginning of a twenty-one-year association with the Radio Times during which time I did a drawing nearly every week."