Tony Hancock inspired Dougal the dog

<span>Photograph: Associated Rediffusion Productions/Getty</span>
Photograph: Associated Rediffusion Productions/Getty

When I was a student at Manchester University in the early 1970s, Eric Thompson (It’s time for bed again: French team bring back The Magic Roundabout, 9 September), who was directing a local production of Journey’s End, came to speak to the English society about the play. He was quickly sidetracked into talking about The Magic Roundabout. One nugget of information was that he based the grumpy character of Dougal on Tony Hancock.
John O’Dwyer
Steeple Claydon, Buckinghamshire

• If there’s a prize for Country Diary of the year, can I nominate Jim Perrin (10 September)? His taut mini-drama of tree pipit, cuckoo fledgling and tiercel, wrapped up in a vivid sense of landscape and identity, with a final twist of rage at a tawdry government more brutal than the raptor, was surely Country Diary at its best.
John Hopkin
Moseley, Birmingham

• I can’t help feeling that the article about a restaurant which has a tasting menu at £140-per-head plus wine is in very bad taste (Solstice, Newcastle upon Tyne: ‘Theatre, pacing, exquisite detail’ – restaurant review, 9 September). That amount, or considerably less, is what some families have in a week or more to spend on food.
Sue Stevenson
Tickhill, Doncaster

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

• Charles the third – so predictable. I was hoping for Henry the ninth.
Peter Taylor
Tynemouth, North Tyneside

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