Tony Hancock inspired Dougal the dog | Tony Hancock

When I was a student at Manchester University in the early 1970s, Eric Thompson (It’s Time to Bed: The French Team Brings Back The Magic Roundabout, September 9), who ran a local production of Journey’s End, came to talk to the English Company about the play. He was quickly diverted to talk about the magic roundabout. One nugget of information was that he based Dougal’s grumpy character on Tony Hancock.
John O’Dwyer
Claydon Bell Tower, Buckinghamshire

If there’s an award for Country Diary of the Year, can I nominate Jim Perrin (September 10)? Its tense mini-drama of tree pipit, young cuckoo and trefoil, wrapped in a vivid sense of landscape and identity, with a final twist of rage against a sleazy government more brutal than the raptor, was surely Country Diary at its best.
John Hopkins
Mosley, Birmingham

I can’t help but think the article about a restaurant offering a £140pp tasting menu plus wine is in very poor taste (Solstice, Newcastle upon Tyne: ‘Theatre, rhythm, exquisite detail’ – review of restaurant, September 9). This amount, or considerably less, is what some families have in a week or more to spend on food.
Sue Stevenson
Tickhill, Doncaster

The correspondence on what to call the partners of unmarried family members (Letters, September 7) reminded me of a gag by the late Frank Carson – “What’s the difference between in-laws and outlaws?” Outlaws are wanted.
Colin Daffern
Boothtown, Salford

Charles III – so predictable. I was hoping for Henry IX.
Peter Taylor
Tynemouth, North Tyneside

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