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Sue Townsend: Don't call me a national treasure

2nd August 2010

Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend does not like being referred to as a national treasure, she has revealed.

In an interview with the Observer, the writer conceded that her protagonist is very popular with readers, who have been able to follow his exploits from his first outing in 1982's The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 to the most recent Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years.

Despite this success, she added: 'I hate it when people call me a "national treasure". It takes away your bite and makes you feel like a harmless old golden labrador.'

Townsend told the newspaper that she has recently 'fallen in love' with Mole and realised it was a mistake to make the character unattractive in her earlier books, adding: 'The only way I'll kill Adrian is when I die myself.'

The author also highlighted the similarities between herself and Mole, noting that both have suffered periods of ill health, display a tendency for emotional detachment and are disillusioned with modern politics.

Works by Townsend outside of the Adrian Mole series include The Queen and I, Ghost Children, Number Ten and Queen Camilla.
 

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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