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The Adrian Mole letters

In 1970, Sue Townsend was a single mother of three with three jobs. While her children were asleep she secretly wrote semi-autobiographical prose and poetry, which she showed no-one.

In 1980, a young actor asked Sue if she had anything he could use in an audition for Huckleberry Finn. She gave him some handwritten entries of a diary of Nigel Mole.

By 1990 Sue Townsend had become the bestselling author of the 1980s in terms of individual books - out-stripping Jeffrey Archer, Jackie Collins and Barbara Taylor Bradford.

While researching Remembering Sue Townsend, Aged 68 3/4, the programme uncovered the original letters between the then poor, secret writer and the BBC's then assistant head of Radio Drama, John Tydeman.