07 November 2007: Wigan Today

Star in plea over letters pervert

Actress Dame Diana Rigg today urged Wiganers to help track down and expose a pervert who has been bombarding her with obscene mail.

The screen and stage legend appeals for help through the Wigan Evening Post after receiving five disturbing letters with Wigan franks on them.

They were sent to her dressing room at London's Old Vic Theatre in recent weeks.

Today she branded the author "sick" and a "nutter." It is the second time that the finger of suspicion has fallen on the borough in such distressing circumstances.

Six years ago Dame Diana was among a number of female celebrities revealed by police to have been the victims of a celebrity stalker who had sent out hundreds of pornographic letters, again from this area.All the victims were women who had come to prominence in the 1960s and '70s and included Joanna Lumley, Joan Bakewell and Felicity Kendal.

Soon afterwards a 72-year-old Kitt Green pensioner was arrested on suspicion of sending the mail, but was later cleared because his DNA did not match that found on the offending envelopes.

Dame Diana believes the latest offensive letters are from a different correspondent, because the contents and the handwriting are not alike.

She has sent us one of the envelopes for publication in the hope that someone might recognise the distinctive script, which includes slanted up-strokes before capital Ls, Vs and Ws.

The 69-year-old former Avengers star is currently appearing in the play All About My Mother at the Old Vic. The first letter arrived postmarked Bolton, Bury and Wigan on October 15.

She said: "Now that I recognise the handwriting I don't bother opening them.

"I have not contacted the police yet because I don't feel in any danger from this person not least because the writer is a good distance away but it is upsetting and I want it to stop.

"I think this person is a nutter and I hope that publishing this article and the picture of the envelope will give one very sick person a bit of a shock.

"Perhaps someone will recognise the handwriting and tell the police.

"It is definitely not the same person as the one who was sending letters from the North West several years ago.

"Not only was the handwriting very different, so too were the contents.

"If anything, the others were marginally worse. But these new letters contain obscene photographs which have been photocopied and the writer seems to have a thing about Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers.

"The letters stopped the last time publicity was given to them. Let's hope the same happens again."

Anyone with information about the letter-sender should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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