Around the same period, Watkins' work on this character emerged, of a highly novel nature: this entailed a unique collaboration between the master and Three Bears artist Bob Mc Grath: Watkins drew Biffo and Buster and background elements; however space was left for Bob to insert his own rendotions of the other bear characters, and the interaction between the characters is superbly-realized. Quite possibly the finest example of this type in the history of BEANO.
In 1969, Dudley Watkins suddenly died at his drawing board with a Biffo strip pencilled but not inked. David Sutherland, the Bash Street Kids artist, took over from this point, inking that one and drawing all future installments until Jimmy Glen took over. Dave Sutherland later [famously] recounted how he was summoned into a make-or-break meeting, where he was told---not asked-----he was to procure the immediate future BIFFO covers! The Sutherland version of Biffo was impeccably-rendered, but it has to be said that for many purists, the spirit of Watkins was sorely missed, especially in an era when reprints were frowned upon and discouraged, until the late 80s when it became acceptable and popular to rerun vintage UK strips. Biffo would remain on the front cover of The Beano until issue 1677, dated September 7, 1974. Dennis the Menace and Gnasher took over the following week.
Losing the cover page was the beginning of the end for Biffo. With his page reduced to four colours inside the comic, the strip gradually declined in popularity and was eventually dropped in 1986, by which time the strip had been reduced to half a page, and Jimmy Glen had replaced David Sutherland. The character was replaced, along with Little Plum, by Calamity James. However, Biffo returned in issue 2445 (dated May 27, 1989), in a mute strip which no longer featured Buster. Most of these strips were drawn by Sid Burgon, but Trevor Metcalfe also drew a few episodes. When one reader asked Dennis the Menace why Biffo no longer spoke, Dennis said that he had asked Biffo why and the answer was ' '! This half page strip ran until issue 2954 (dated February 27, 1999). David Sutherland drew a special Biffo story for the Beano's 70th anniversary in 2008, and he made another appearance in the Beano Annual 2010.