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Sue Townsend's Geni Profile

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Susan Lillian Broadway (Townsend)

Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Death: April 10, 2014 (68)
Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Wife of Private
Ex-wife of Private
Mother of Private; Private; Private and Private
Sister of ? Townsend; ? Townsend; ? Townsend and ? Townsend

Occupation: Author
Managed by: Terry Jackson (Switzer)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Sue Townsend

Susan Lillian "Sue" Townsend, FRSL

From Wikipedia

(2 April 1946 – 10 April 2014) was an English novelist and playwright, best known as the author of the Adrian Mole books. Although her writing primarily combined comedy with social commentary, she also wrote purely dramatic works.


Townsend was born in Leicester and went to Glen Hills Primary School, where the school secretary was Mrs. Claricotes, a name she used for the school secretary in the Adrian Mole books. Her father was a postman and she was the eldest of five sisters. After failing her 11-plus exam, Townsend went to the secondary modern South Wigston High School.[1] She left school at the age of 15 and worked in a variety of jobs including factory worker and shop assistant. She married a sheet-metal worker and had three children under five by the time she was 22. She joined a writers' group at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester, in her thirties. She had four children: Sean, Daniel, Victoria and Elizabeth.

At the time of writing the first Adrian Mole book, Townsend was living on the Saffron Lane Estate, a stone's-throw away from the house in which playwright Joe Orton was brought up. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole was reputedly based on her children's experiences at Mary Linwood Comprehensive School in Leicester. Several of the teachers who appear in the book (such as Ms Fossington-Gore and Mr Dock) are based on staff who worked at the school in the early 1980s. When the book was televised, it was mostly filmed at a different school nearby. Mary Linwood Comprehensive was closed in 1997. The first two published stories appeared in a short-lived arts journal entitled magazine, in the editing and production of which Townsend was involved, featuring the character then still called Nigel Mole.

The first two books in the series appealed to many readers as a realistic and humorous treatment of the inner life of an adolescent boy. They also captured something of the zeitgeist of Britain during the Thatcher period.

On 25 February 2009, Leicester City Council announced that Townsend would be given the Honorary Freedom of Leicester (where she lived) alongside singer Engelbert Humperdinck and retired professional footballer Alan Birchenall.

Health issues

Townsend suffered from diabetes for many years, as a result of which she was registered blind in 2001,[3] and she wove this theme into her work. In September 2009, she received a kidney from her son Sean after a two-year wait for a donor. Surgery was carried out at Leicester General Hospital and Townsend spoke to reporters about the work of the UK National Kidney Federation.

Townsend died at her home on 10 April 2014 aged 68, following a stroke. She is survived by her husband Colin Broadway and four children and 10 grandchildren. Stephen Mangan, who portrayed Adrian Mole in a 2001 television adaptation, stated "Greatly upset to hear that Sue Townsend has died. One of the warmest, funniest and wisest people I ever met."[6]


Year Award

1981 Thames Television Playwright Award for Womberang 2003 Frink award[7][8] 2007 Two honorary doctorates, one from the University of Leicester and one from Loughborough University[9] 2007 James Joyce Award of the Literary and Historical Society of University College Dublin 2012 Specsavers National Book Awards, Audiobook of the Year, The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year narrated by Caroline Quentin[10] 2013 Honorary Doctorate of letters from De Montfort University, Leicester [11]


Adrian Mole series

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13¾ (1982), her bestselling book, and the best-selling new British fiction book of the 1980s. The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984) The True Confessions of Adrian Albert Mole (1989) Adrian Mole From Minor to Major (1991) is an omnibus of the first three, and includes as a bonus the specially written Adrian Mole and the Small Amphibians. Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years (1993) Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years (1999) Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004) The Lost Diaries of Adrian Mole, 1999–2001 (2008) Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years (2009)

Other novels

Rebuilding Coventry (1988) The Queen and I (1992), a story about the British royal family living a "normal" life on an urban housing estate following a republican revolution. Ghost Children (1997), a novel treating the issues of bereavement, child abuse and women's self-esteem in relation to body image. Number Ten (2002) Queen Camilla (2006) The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year (2012)


Womberang (Soho Poly – 1979) The Ghost of Daniel Lambert (Leicester Haymarket Theatre – 1981) Theatre closed in January 2006 Dayroom (Croydon Warehouse Theatre – 1981) Captain Christmas and the Evil Adults (Phoenix Arts Theatre – 1982) now known as the Phoenix Arts Centre Bazaar and Rummage (Royal Court Theatre – 1982) Groping for Words (Croydon Warehouse – 1983) The Great Celestial Cow (Royal Court Theatre and tour – 1984) The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 133⁄4-The Play (Leicester Phoenix – 1984) now known as Phoenix Arts Centre Disneyland it Ain't (Royal Court Theatre Upstairs – 1989) Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes (Library Theatre, Manchester – 1989) The Queen and I (Vaudeville Theatre – 1994, toured Australia in the summer of 1996 and was entitled The Royals Down Under)


Mr Bevan's Dream: Why Britain Needs Its Welfare State (1989) The Public Confessions of a Middle-Aged Woman (2001)


1.Jump up ^ Collier, Kate (18 February 2005). "Leicester's leading ladies". BBC. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 2.Jump up ^ "Sky Arts: The Book Show". Retrieved 1 February 2008. 3.^ Jump up to: a b White, Lesley (15 October 2006). "Sue Townsend". London: The Times. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 4.Jump up ^ "City honours three of its finest 'ambassadors'". Leicester City Council. 25 February 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2009. 5.Jump up ^ "Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies". BBC News. 11 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 6.^ Jump up to: a b c Eady, Piers (11 April 2014). "Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies aged 68". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 7.Jump up ^ "Sue Townsend – Woman of the Year Award". BBC. 14 October 2003. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 8.Jump up ^ "Women of The Year Lunch and Assembly". Retrieved 1 February 2008. 9.Jump up ^ "Summer 2007 Oration – Sue Townsend". Loughborough University. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 1 February 2008. 10.Jump up ^ Alison Flood (5 December 2012). "EL James comes out on top at National Book awards". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2012. 11.Jump up ^ Template:Cite web URL=

External links

Penguin Site

British Council Contemporary Writers Site




BBC News

ITV News

Daily Mail

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Sue Townsend's Timeline

April 2, 1946
Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Age 14
April 10, 2014
Age 68
Leicester, Leicestershire, United Kingdom