The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 was a British TV show based on the hugely popular book of the same name, written by Sue Townsend in 1982. Like the title suggests the book chronicled the diary entries of a 13 year old boy called Adrian Mole, who is a bit of a geek.
It explores his thoughts and deepest emotions on things such as his dysfunctional family life, ’his life as a tortured poet’, his infatuation with the a girl named Pandora. and of course his reoccurring acne. All written with the humor and poignancy, that would make Sue Townsend the most read British author of the 1980s.
The diary also includes his thoughts on social events that took place in the years 1981 and 1982, such as the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
The success of this and the follow up book, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole (1984), prompted the making of the TV series, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4, which was broadcast on ITV from September 1985.
A second series, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, was also commissioned, and was transmitted in January 1987, also on ITV. The last in the TV franchise, Adrian Mole: The Capuccino Years was broadcast in 2001, nearly 15 years later, this time on BBC1.
The title character was played by Gian Sammarco, while Adrian’s mum was played by Julie Walters in the first series. She was replaced by singer Lulu for series 2, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole.
Because of the success of the books, this show was quite a sensation in the 80s, even though both series only spanned a couple of months each. My favourite bit was the song in the opening credits, which was performed by Ian Dury and the Blockheads, below.
DID YA KNOW?
- Gian Sammarco, the actor who played the teenaged Adrian in the first two TV series has now retired from acting and is now a psychiatric nurse. He is married with one son.
- There actually nine books in total in the Adrian Mole Series, the most recent, Adrian Mole: The Prostrate Years was published in November 2009.