Sue Townsend was born in Leicester in 1946. Despite not learning to read until the age of eight, leaving school at fifteen with no qualifications and having three children by the time she was in her mid-twenties, she always found time to read widely. She also wrote secretly for twenty years. After joining a writers' group at The Phoenix Theatre, Leicester, she won a Thames Television award for her first play, Womberang, and became a professional playwright and novelist. After the publication of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾, Sue continued to make the nation laugh and prick its conscience. She wrote seven further volumes of Adrian's diaries and five other popular novels - including The Queen and I, Number Ten and The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year - and numerous well received plays. Sue passed away in 2014 at the age of sixty-eight. She remains widely regarded as Britain's favourite comic writer.