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  1. ITV Report

Infamous hoax letters of Henry Root go up for auction in Cambridgeshire after they were discovered in downstairs loo

He wrote to Margeret Thatcher among others. Photo: ITV Anglia.

A stash of letters written by one of Britain's most infamous hoaxers has been discovered in an unusual hiding place - in the downstairs lavatory of a house in Essex.

The Letters of Henry Root were written by satirist and Cambridge graduate William Donaldson in the 1970's and 1980's to poke fun at politicians and celebrities.

From Prime Ministers to TV presenters and even the Queen - all were subject to ridicule by his fictional creation Henry Root.

The letters will be auctioned later this month. Credit: ITV Anglia.

Among the recipients of Root's ramblings were Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, news reader Kenneth Kendall and football manager Brian Clough.

He usually enclosed a £1 donation, which the recipient often returned. In the case of Margaret Thatcher, it was kept and Root was thanked for 'sending us another £1 for our party funds'.

When Root wrote to Kenneth Kendall, the broadcaster replied with a signed photo for 'Mrs Root'.

Letter to Kenneth Kendall: 'Sorry to read in the paper today that your teeth fell out while you were reading the news last night. Most awkward for you. Here's a pound. Get yourself a tube of Dentu-Fix, but be careful where you keep it. Mrs Snipe, who lives opposite, confused hers with the Polyfilla tube and all her windows fell out. How about a photo for Mrs Root? You're her favourite broadcaster.'

– The Letters of Henry Root

The letters were discovered by an auctioneer on a routine call at a house in Essex. The anonymous owners bought them at a charity event in 1980 and have owned them ever since.

They will be auctioned off on Saturday 27th February at Willingham Auctions in Cambridgeshire. Chloe Keedy reports.