Page last updated at 12:39 GMT, Monday, 5 October 2009 13:39 UK

Grandad 'was' Dennis the Menace

Dennis the Menace
Robert Fair was friendly with Dennis cartoonist Davey Law

A grandfather has spoken of his surprise at discovering he was the inspiration for Dennis the Menace.

Robert Fair's family was friendly with cartoonist Davey Law, who created the mischievous character for The Beano comic.

Law based the character on the young Robert, whose family lived in Dundee at the time, but never told him.

The connection was finally revealed by Law's daughter, Rosemary Moffat, who inspired the character Beryl the Peril.

Mr Fair, 62, who now lives in New Zealand, said: "It came right out of the blue but I was pretty pleased.

"I feel like I'm getting my 15 minutes of fame now."

'Playing pranks'

The grandfather-of-six now runs a garage in Porangahau, south of Napier on the north island of New Zealand, where he has lived for almost 40 years.

He admits he was a "rascal" in his youth, although he said he did not have spiky hair or wear a red and black striped jumper.

He said: "My parents were quite friendly with the Law family and I used to go round and play with their daughter. I was only about five at the time.

"I had a reputation as being a bit of a menace, and I'd go round the house getting into mischief and playing pranks on people.

"I'd put books on top of doors and shout for the parents to come in, then jump out the window and watch."

Cartoonist Law worked across several DC Thomson comics and also created the Beryl the Peril strip for the Topper comic.

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