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. He was made a Fellow of BAFTA in 2002. Although best known for television series, he won the annual Guardian Children's Fiction Prize for the novel Conrad's War (Blackie, 1978). The award judged by a panel of British children's writers recognises the year's best book by an author who has not yet won it.
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.
Writer for television
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.
Davies is the creator of the children's Marmalade Atkins television series and A Very Peculiar Practice, and is also 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.
Davies also co-devised with Bernadette Davis the laddish sitcom Game On for BBC2 and co-wrote the first two series in 1995 and 1996.
His previous career in education he drew upon in writing the campus-based comedy-drama series A Very Peculiar Practice (1986–88).
He is also a prolific writer for children. Beside the Guardian Prize-winning novel Conrad's War, 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".
UK network 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)
- Dirty Faxes (1990, short stories)
- B. Monkey (1992)
Based on the TV series of the same title
- A Very Peculiar Practice (1986, Coronet)
- A Very Peculiar Practice: The New Frontier (1988, Methuen)
- Rose (1980)
- Prin (1990)
- "Guardian children's fiction prize relaunched: Entry details and list of past winners". theguardian 12 March 2001. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- Middlemarch (2011)
- Sam Mendes shifts to comedy – Entertainment News, Film News, Media – Variety
- BBC period drama has gone downmarket, says Andrew Davies
- ITV press release
- BBC press release