Friday Night Dinner creator pens a new book of spoof letters | Robert Popper becomes 106-year-old Elsie Drake

Friday Night Dinner creator pens a new book of spoof letters

Robert Popper becomes 106-year-old Elsie Drake

Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper is to release a new book of prank letters.

The writer – who also  produced Peep Show – adopted the persona of 104-year-old Elsie Drake, the sixth oldest woman in the UK, to write spoof letters to various organisations.

Its release in October comes 20 years after the publication of Popper’s first compilation of correspondence, The Time Waster Letters, written under the pseudonym Robin Cooper, which also spawned a follow-up.

Popper said: ‘Having basically lived as a 104-year-old lady for over a year, I can’t wait to finally unleash Mrs Elsie Drake and her wild letter-writing on the great British public.’

And ‘Mrs Drake’ added: ‘’I am so happy that my beautiful letters will all be stuck in a nice book with glue. It’s a dream come true for me. My fame will know no end.’

Elsie Drake Book coverThe 272-page book contains badly spelled missives to the likes of Pentonville prison, asking to spend a night in the cells; a Plymouth furniture store complaining that her sofa is haunted; and Puzzler magazine, offering a selection of puzzles she created.

Many of the letters come with crudely-drawn illustrations and make reference to Elsie's nemesis  Mrs Hale, who shares her London home.

Kate Hewson, publishing director of John Murray Press, said: ‘The Timewaster Letters has always been the book I hold up as an example of a book that can make you cry laughing. So, I was completely delighted to discover that Robert has kept up his unusual hobby over the last 20 years, and even more delighted to discover that Elsie Drake is every bit as hilarious, chaotic and ridiculous as Robin Cooper ever was.’

The likes of Greg DaviesSimon Pegg, ‘Weird Al' Yankovic, Bob Odenkirk  and Daisy May Cooper all professed themselves fans of Elsie Drake in cover quotes fro the book.

It will be released on October 24 and is available to order via Amazon, priced £16.99 in hardback or £9.99 on Kindle.

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Published: 30 May 2024

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