Andrew Davies (writer)
|Born||Andrew Wynford Davies
20 September 1936
Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales, UK
|Occupation||Writer (tv and print)|
|Alma mater||University College, London|
|Period||ca. 1964–present (as writer)|
|Genres||Audio and screenplays, novels|
|Notable award(s)||Guardian Prize
|Spouse(s)||Diana Huntley (1960–present)|
Andrew Wynford Davies (born 20 September 1936) is a British writer of screenplays and novels, best known for Marmalade Atkins and A Very Peculiar Practice, and his adaptations of Vanity Fair and Sense and Sensibility. He was made a BAFTA Fellow in 2002.
Education and early career
Davies // was born in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales. He attended Whitchurch Grammar School in Cardiff and then University College, London, where he received a BA in English in 1957. He took a teaching position at St. Clement Danes Grammar School in London, where he was on the teaching staff from 1958–61. He held a similar post at Woodberry Down Comprehensive School in Hackney, London from 1961–63. Following that, he was a lecturer in English at Coventry College of Education (which later merged with the University of Warwick to become the Faculty of Educational Studies and later the Warwick Institute of Education), and then at the University of Warwick in Coventry.
In 1960, Davies contributed material to the BBC Home Service's Monday Night at Home strand, alongside Harold Pinter and Ivor Cutler. He wrote his first play for radio in 1964 and many more were to follow. In 1960, he married Diana Huntley; the couple have a son and daughter. He is resident in Kenilworth, a town of Warwickshire.
Davies' first television play, Who's Going to Take Me On?, was broadcast in 1965 as part of BBC1's The Wednesday Play strand. His early plays were written as a sideline to his work in education, many of them appearing in anthology series such as Thirty Minute Theatre, Play for Today and Centre Stage. His first big success as a scriptwriter came in 1986 with the BBC series A Very Peculiar Practice, a campus-based comedy-drama series that drew upon his previous career in education.
He is well known for his adaptations of classic works of literature, including the 1995 television adaptation of Pride and Prejudice starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, the 1998 adaptation of Vanity Fair, and the 2008 BBC adaption of Sense and Sensibility. He is the writer of the screenplays both for the 1994 BBC production Middlemarch and a planned 2011 film of the same name.
He is also a prolific writer for children. The first of his few novels was Conrad's War, published by Blackie in 1978. Davies won the annual Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, which is judged by a panel of British children's writers and recognises the year's best book by an author who has not yet won it. He has written Alfonso Bonzo (book and television series), and the adventures of Marmalade Atkins (television series and numerous books). He also wrote the stories Dark Towers and Badger Girl for BBC TV's Look and Read series of programmes for schools audiences.
2008 saw the release of his adaptations of the 1999 novel Affinity by Sarah Waters, Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited (a film), Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit (a BBC series). Little Dorrit won 7 out of its 11 Emmy nominations and earned Davies an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries.
Planned adaptations of Dombey and Son, one of Dickens' lesser-read works, and Anthony Trollope's Palliser novels were both scrapped by the BBC in late 2009, following a previously announced move away from "bonnet dramas".
ITV is looking to recreate its period drama success with Downton Abbey with new series Mr Selfridge, an initially eight-part serial written by Davies and starring Jeremy Piven. It first aired on 6 January 2013.
Television series and serials
- Circle of Friends (1995)
- The Tailor of Panama (2001)
- Bridget Jones's Diary (2001, with Helen Fielding and Richard Curtis)
- Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004, with Helen Fielding)
- Brideshead Revisited (2008)
- The Three Musketeers (2011)
- Middlemarch (2011)
- Conrad's War (Blackie and Son, 1978) —winner of the Guardian Prize
- Getting Hurt (1989), for adults
- Dirty Faxes (1990), short stories
- B. Monkey (1992) —adapted by others as the 1998 film B. Monkey
- Based on the TV series
- A Very Peculiar Practice (1986, Coronet) —novelization of A Very Peculiar Practice, season one
- A Very Peculiar Practice: The New Frontier (1988, Methuen)
- Rose (1980)
- Prin (1990)
Andrew and Diana Davies have written at least two children's picture books.
- Poonam's Pets (Methuen Children's, 1990), illustrated by Paul Dowling
- Raj In Charge (Hamish Hamilton, 1994), illus. Debi Gliori
- Middlemarch (2011)
- Sam Mendes shifts to comedy – Entertainment News, Film News, Media – Variety
- "Guardian children's fiction prize relaunched: Entry details and list of past winners". theguardian 12 March 2001. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- BBC period drama has gone downmarket, says Andrew Davies
- ITV press release
- BBC press release
- Andrew Davies at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about Diana Davies in libraries (WorldCat catalog) – WARNING: Combines multiple people named Diana Davies