AROUND 500 family, friends and fans have gathered to say goodbye to much-loved author Sue Townsend.

Townsend, who achieved worldwide success with the publication of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 in 1982, died after suffering a stroke on April 10. She was 68.

Actor Stephen Mangan, who played Adrian Mole in a 2001 television adaptation of the character, was among those gathered at De Montfort Hall in Leicester.

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There were readings from the author's works and tributes from friends,

Journalist Nicci Gerrard led the service which celebrated the life and works of the author.