Meeting With The Menace

In honour of his 70th anniversary, our Lisa chatted to the Beano’s famous Dennis the Menace.

I’ve interviewed a good mix of people since I became a journalist. My first one was with Kirsty Wark, and I’ve also interviewed a teddy-bear surgeon and people doing incredible things to raise money for charity.

My latest one was the most exciting, though. It was with Dennis The Menace, who is celebrating his 70th anniversary on March 17.

The cheeky scamp give me some hilarious answers. But best of all, interviewing Dennis meant I got to “visit” Beanotown as Beano artist Nigel Parkinson illustrated me alongside Dennis.

Illustration by DC Thomson Ltd.

Photograph by Lisa Crow.

Some celebrities have visited Beanotown before me including Davids Tennant, Walliams and Beckham. I am proof you don’t have to be called David to get in, though!

The Menace is a loveable rogue

I had been a bit anxious that Dennis would play a prank on me but he was on his best behaviour that day – perhaps because his gran is a subscriber of “The People’s Friend”. He was brandishing his catapult, loaded with a ball of wool, but he didn’t let it loose, thankfully. Dennis is more of a loveable rogue than anything. I giggled a lot, that’s for sure.

He had a lot to say for himself. So much so that we didn’t have enough space in the magazine to print the full interview, so here are the questions you won’t see in the magazine.

What is your favourite prank?

I like to recycle tomatoes from the compost heap and “share” them via my trusty catapult. I call it “Serving tomato gloop”!

Some big names have made their way to Beanotown, including former Doctor Who David Tennant and boyband One Direction. Who would you like to meet?

Bananaman! He’s my ultimate hero. Can you imagine a cooler superhero?

There is another Dennis The Menace, who became famous around the same time as you, in the States. What do you think of him?

He’s cool. He’s half my age in real life and is a cute-looking little guy. We’ve never met and, as far as I know, we aren’t related, but I think I could be a positive role model for his future development…

“I see the funny side of everything”

What do you keep in your pockets?

My hands, whenever I’m trying to look “innocent” and slink away from the scene of mischief. The rest of the time, just my catapult, pea shooter and sweets. I’m low maintenance.

What would you like to be when you grow up?

I never want to grow-up! Aging is all good, but don’t grow up. It’s a trap! But, if you’ve got any contacts in the biz, I’d happily become the world’s first ten-year-old astronaut …

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I honestly wouldn’t trust me to test anyone’s eyesight, to tell you the truth. I don’t think I’ll ever get a job, in fact. Does that answer your question? It does? Wow! I feel so lucky.

What’s your most treasured possession?

My catapult. It’s a family heirloom, passed down through generations. One of my distant ancestors traded a pot of Frankincense for it with some little dude called David…

What makes you laugh?

My mum tells the best jokes. My cousin Minnie is hilarious, too. I see the funny side of everything. Laughter helps keep us in a good mood, so I try to find them in everything I do.

If you had to be stuck in a lift for three hours with one person who would you like it to be?

Someone delivering a portable toilet.

If you had insomnia and couldn’t sleep, how would you fill the time?

I’d probably just snuggle up beneath the covers with a bundle of the comics I stash underneath my bed. I have enough to keep reading until the morning time. But I skip the stories I appear in because I know what happens already.

Beano will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of Dennis’s first appearance in the comic on 17 March 2021.

For more from the team, read our blog here.