Monday, October 05, 2009

The original Dennis the Menace

A grandfather running a garage in New Zealand has spoken of his delight to find he was the inspiration for Dennis the Menace.

Robert Fair, who left Britain 38 years ago, beamed: "I think it's fantastic - a real honour.

"Dennis the Menace does sound like me when I was young. I was always getting into trouble."

Beano cartoonist David Law, who created Dennis in 1951, never named his inspiration for fear of offending family friends the Fairs.

But David died in 1971 and his daughter Rosemary Moffat recently spilled the beans, reports The Sun.

Ex-merchant navy officer Robert, now a 62-year-old with six grandchildren living at Porangahau Beach, said: "I remember reading The Beano and all these years I have never known that was me - that was my character.

"I've always liked playing jokes on people and I have never lost that."

Rosemary, who herself inspired The Topper's equally naughty Beryl the Peril, said four-year-old Robert would create chaos when his family visited her home in Dundee.

He would frighten pals by jumping out and throwing spiders and worms at them.

She went on: "He used to come to visit us and I used to hate it as he was always so wild. Every time he left the house my father used to start laughing and say, 'What a menace he is'."


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