Norfolk

Comic fan has The Beano delivered every week for 53 years

Paul Cooper with two editions of The Beano
Image caption Paul Cooper with two editions of The Beano, selected from his vast collection

A man who has had The Beano comic delivered every week for 53 years is planning to visit the city where it is published for a summer "treat".

Paul Cooper, 61, said he had thousands of editions stored in every "nook and cranny" of his Norwich house.

His visit to the home of publisher DC Thomson in Dundee will allow him to pay homage to the comic.

Beano Studios' Mike Stirling said: "We're very grateful Paul Cooper has been a loyal reader for so many years."

Image caption Mr Cooper said his Beano collection dates back to 1967. They are stored in boxes in his loft and around his house
Image caption And he always received Beano-related presents for Christmas and birthdays

Mr Cooper's mother wanted to encourage him to read when he was about eight, so began ordering him The Beano every week - along with The Beezer, Dandy and The Topper.

"Most of us first encounter Beano at a sweet spot in our lives - childhood," said Mr Stirling, editorial director of DC Thomson's Beano Studios.

Mr Cooper's interest in the other titles waned but he continued to feel a loyalty to the world's oldest comic.

"I do believe there are aspects of The Beano where the humour is definitely aimed at adults rather than children - and certainly people of my age," said Mr Cooper.

"I wouldn't win any awards for my knowledge of the Beano on Mastermind - it's just something I've enjoyed and still collect."

Image copyright PA
Image caption A road in Dundee was dedicated to Beano stars The Bash Street Kids in 2014
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The city also features a statue of Minnie the Minx along with Desperate Dan, from The Dandy

The Beano

  • The Beano has been published every week since 1938, although it went to fortnightly publications during World War Two because of paper shortages
  • Dennis the Menace, Minnie the Minx, Bash Street Kids and The Numskulls are among the famous characters found in its pages
  • The comic celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2018, with David Walliams invited to guest edit an edition
  • Its oldest fan was believed to be the late Jim Andison, who helped The Beano celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2013, when he was 91

The superfan, who is a part-time builder and carer for people with special needs, admitted his obsession drove his wife Yvonne "mad".

"My wife sits there on her mobile phone over the breakfast table and I read The Beano," he said.

"She's right - men don't grow up. We are just big boys."

However, she will be accompanying him this summer to Dundee to visit its collection of Beano statues, which Mr Cooper describes as "something special".

Mr Stirling said he hoped the long-term fan would "enjoy seeing the statues... and, of course, the real Bash Street".

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