novelist, born in Leicester. In The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾ (1982), Townsend created an enduringly popular comic hero, the anxious, nerdy, tortured would‐be poet, and self‐styled intellectual, Adrian Mole (almost 14). Adrian lusts after a new girl in his class, Pandora Braithwaite, fails to get his poems read on BBC radio, gets bullied, measures his ‘thing’, and won a massive readership (leading to a TV serialization, 1985–7). The diaries continued in The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984), in which Adrian's struggles with Pandora and his dysfunctional family continue, Adrian Mole: From Minor to Major (1991), and Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction (2004). Townsend also published The Queen and I (1992), a satirical novel which imagines a Republican party winning a general election and the royal family being sent to live on a council estate, and Queen Camilla (2006).