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28 October 2014

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Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years

Pauline and Adrian Mole

His growing up years have been more publicly scrutinised than a member of the Royal Family, but Sue Townsend's iconic diarist had an inauspicious start in life.

In real life, the Midlands based character first came into being on 2 January 1982, as part of the BBC Radio Four Thirty-Minute Play strand.

Originally named Nigel Mole, he was renamed Adrian for Townsend's subsequent novels to avoid confusion with fellow fictional juvenile scribe, Nigel Molesworth.

A pompous, misunderstood teen, Adrian nursed desires both of recognition as a poet, and school friend Pandora. Three years after The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾'s publication at the end of 1982, came both a second volume - The Growing Pains Of Adrian Mole - and an ITV adaptation.

With Gian Sammarco proving perfect casting in the title role, this superior production - scripted by Townsend - was shot on film, without a laughter track.

It also boasted Julie Walters as Adrian's mother Pauline (played by Lulu in series two), Stephen Moore as father George and Beryl Reid as Grandma.

Although the show finished in 1987, Adrian continued keeping a diary, and further books were published throughout the 1990s. In 2001, BBC Two decided it was time to check back in with the character for Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years.

Pandora Braithwaite and Adrian Mole

Set in the shadow of New Labour's 1997 election triumph, Adrian was an offal chef living in Soho, while Pandora had become a thrusting Labour MP, uninterested in her former beau.

As a 30-year-old, Adrian proved less compelling than his teenage self and the show - still scripted by Townsend - was more a lumpen political comedy than the keenly observed coming-of-age tale that first caught our imagination.


Stephen Mangan
Adrian Mole
Alison Steadman
Pauline Mole
Helen Baxendale
Dr Pandora Braithwaite
Alun Armstrong
George Mole
Zoe Wanamaker
Tania Braithwaite
James Hazeldine
Ivan Braithwaite
Roderic Culver
Nigel Hetherington
Harry Tomes
William Mole
Melissa Batchelor
Rosie Mole
Alex De'Ath
Glenn Bott
Sam Douglas
Brick Eagleburger
Joseph O'Conor
Archie Tait
Lynn Lowton
Jamila Massey
Mrs Parvez
Keith Allen
Peter Savage
Lucy Richer


Sue Townsend
Sandy Johnson
Sarah Smith
Sue Townsend
executive producer
Geoffrey Perkins
executive producer
Greg Brenman
executive producer

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