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"Dennis" no longer a menace??


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That new Dennis is a softy: Boy, 8, writes letter to Beano complaining about politically-correct Dennis the Menace



By Andy Dolan

Last updated at 9:00 AM on 10th February 2010




article-1249633-08354906000005DC-860_306x349.jpg 'I want the old Dennis back': Jacob Rush wrote a letter to the Beano


When Dennis the Menace had a politically correct makeover last year, his creators aimed to remove 'any traces of nastiness'.

But according to at least one young reader of The Beano, the new watered-down Dennis is now devoid of all fun, too.

Eight-year-old Jacob Rush was so upset by the changes that he sent an email to the comic's bosses, begging them to bring back the old menacing Dennis.

He wrote: 'I don't like Dennis because he doesn't have his catapult or water pistol any more and he's not menacing enough - I want the old Dennis back.'

When no one replied, he called the comic's Dundee HQ and received a letter blaming a newly sanitised BBC cartoon version.

The cartoon first aired on the CBBC channel in September, but to comply with BBC guidelines, out went Dennis's peashooter, catapult, water pistol and even his scowl, replaced by a boyish grin.

Instead of picking on Walter the Softy, Dennis - thankfully still wearing his red and black jumper and accompanied by his dog Gnasher - now lands himself in scrapes through his everyday life.

The PC Dennis has appeared in the weekly comic ever since the television launch, after bosses decided not to have different Dennises in print and on TV.

Jacob's parents Mark, 33, and Virginia, 39, of Ipswich, said he had been reading The Beano for two years but had noticed the changes to Dennis - who first appeared in 1951 - over recent months.



Enlarge article-1249633-0837CD8C000005DC-941_634x215.jpg


Mr Rush, an IT project manager, said: 'Jacob was concerned about the way Dennis looked and the fact he doesn't seem menacing any more because he is not allowed to have a peashooter or bully Walter.

'For Jacob it means Dennis is boring. He doesn't want to read Dennis the Menace any more because he's not interested in him.'

Mrs Rush, 39, a teacher, said: 'Jacob loves reading my husband's Beanos from the 1970s. Dennis is just not as naughty as he was and that was the whole point of Dennis, children can live out their naughtiness through him.'

Beano editor Alan Digby admitted there had been 'a number of' complaints, adding: 'There are certain compliance rules relating to the way things like bad behaviour can be depicted on children's television, particularly on the BBC.

'I would not say Dennis has been watered down, he has evolved as the character has done throughout his lifetime. He still has his catapult and peashooter, but does not use them against people any more.'

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