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Secret Life of Sue Townsend (Aged 68 ¾)

Julie Walters narrates the extraordinary story of Sue Townsend, a working-class woman who achieved literary stardom through sheer talent and an irrepressible will to write.

Sue Townsend left school at 14 with no qualifications and in her early twenties was a single mother struggling to feed her three children. A decade later, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 was a critical and commercial smash and she had become the best-selling author of her era.

Julie Walters narrates this extraordinary story of a working-class woman who achieved literary stardom through sheer talent and an irrepressible will to write. From Adrian Mole to The Queen & I, Sue Townsend's books combine a brilliantly funny writing style with often biting satire, captivating not just a nation's readers but influencing a generation of writers and performers.

A warm and witty celebration of Sue Townsend's life and writing, the story is told with the help of children from Sue's old school, her friends and family, as well as the comedy and literary stars she inspired - including Stephen Mangan, Ian Hislop, David Nicholls, Isy Suttie and Adrian Scarborough. Drawing on Sue Townsend's own archive of letters and notebooks, the film also features unseen photographs, footage and even her appointment diary, which includes poignant entries about her struggles with ill health, written in a humorous style instantly recognisable from her books.

14 days left to watch

59 minutes

Audio described

Last on

Thu 21 Nov 2019 22:30

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:42

    Max Richter

    03 Richter Dream 3 (In The Midst of My Life)_Radio Edit

  • 00:43

    Max Richter

    Dream 3 (In The Midst Of My Life)

  • 00:44

    Bucks Fizz

    Making Your Mind Up

  • 00:44

    Bucks Fizz

    Making Your Mind Up

  • 00:52

    Brian Eno

    An Ending (Ascent)

Credits

Role Contributor
Narrator Julie Walters
Executive Producer Richard Bright
Producer Jude Ho
Director Jude Ho
Participant Stephen Mangan
Participant Isy Suttie
Participant Adrian Scarborough

Broadcasts

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The Secret Life of Sue Townsend

The Secret Life of Sue Townsend

How a working class mother achieved literary stardom