“So sad to hear about Sue Townsend,” she wrote on Twitter. “She gave me so many laughs. #AdrianMoleWillLiveForever.”
“Greatly upset to hear that Sue Townsend has died,” Stephen Mangan, who played Adrian Mole in a 2001 BBC series, added. “One of the warmest, funniest and wisest people I ever met.”
Tom Weldon, CEO of Townsend’s publisher Penguin Random House UK, said she will be remembered as “one in a handful of this country's great comic writers”.
“She was loved by generations of readers, not only because she made them laugh out loud, but because her view of the world, its inhabitants and their frailties was so generous, life affirming and unique.”
Other famous fans of the passionate socialist and her classic book series took to social media in their droves to express their sadness at the loss of the best-selling writer, and to mourn the end of the teenage character who defined so many childhoods:
The first novel, Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 ¾, was published in 1982. She followed the success of her debut diary with seven sequel novels, which went on to sell more than 8million copies. She was working on an eighth Adrian Mole has been translated into nearly 30 different languages, and has been adapted for TV and for the stage.
Townsend, who also wrote non-fiction, plays and other novels, including 1992 best-seller The Queen And I, started her career after winning a Thames Television playwrighting bursary.
She leaves behind a husband, Colin Broadway, and her four children, Sean, Daniel, Victoria and Elizabeth.
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