James Runcie

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The Hon. James Runcie (born 1959) is a British novelist, documentary film-maker, television producer, theatre director, and Head of Literature and Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre in London.[1] He is also Visiting Professor at Bath Spa University.

Early life[edit]

Runcie is the son of Robert Runcie, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Rosalind Runcie.[2] He was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford,[3] Marlborough College, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He gained a first class degree in English from Cambridge University in 1981.

Writing[edit]

Runcie has written the novels Canvey Island, The Discovery of Chocolate, The Colour of Heaven, and East Fortune.

2012 saw the publication of Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death, to a favourable critical reception.[4][5] The book, which comprises six short standalone mysteries, is the first in a series of six works of detective fiction, entitled The Grantchester Mysteries. The second, Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night, was published in 2013.[6] Runcie is published by Bloomsbury.

Runcie's sleuth novels are currently being turned into an ITV drama titled Grantchester. Filmed on location in Grantchester, Cambridge and London, the initial 6-part series will be shown in the UK in Autumn 2014.[7]

He also writes lifestyle pieces on the subjects of family and literature for major UK newspapers.[8][9][10]

Work in media[edit]

From 1983–1985, Runcie worked in Radio Drama for BBC Scotland as a writer and director. His work included Miss Julie, The White Devil, Roderick Hudson, Men Should Weep, and A Private Grief.[11]

More recently, James Runcie has produced Arts, Music, and History programmes for the BBC. He is a freelance director of documentary films, and has produced documentaries featuring the writers Hilary Mantel, JK Rowling and JG Ballard, as well as making My Father, filmed a week before Robert Runcie's death, and the six-part series How Buildings Learn. He works freelance for the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. He has worked with presenters including David Starkey, Griff Rhys Jones, Andrew Motion, Alain de Botton, and Simon Schama.

In 2009, Runcie was appointed Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival.[12] He left the post in 2013 to take up a position as Head of Literature and Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre in London.[13]

J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life[edit]

From October 2006 to October 2007, Runcie spent a year filming J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life for ITV, as the author was completing the final novel in the Harry Potter cycle, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The programme featured intimate access to Rowling's daily life, and included deeply personal interviews about her childhood and her own struggles with her writing process. The film frequently shows Rowling in tears when she remembers her life before writing the Harry Potter books. Runcie conducted his own interviews and narrated the film; when shown in the United States, additional commentary was provided by Elizabeth Vargas.

This film was transmitted on 30 December 2007 by ITV, and included in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince DVD as supplement.

Awards[edit]

Runcie won a Royal Television Society award for his film Miss Pym's Day Out in 1992, and has also received Royal Television Society nominations for How Buildings Learn and The Gentle Art of Making Enemies. Miss Pym's Day Out was also nominated for a BAFTA Huw Wheldon Award for the Best Arts Programme in 1992.

He has won two BAFTA Scotland Radio Drama Awards for Watching Waiters and Mrs Lynch’s Maggot, and been nominated for a BAFTA award for the film Great Composers — Bach.

Personal life[edit]

Runcie married the Radio Drama producer Marilyn Imrie[14] in 1985. They have one daughter together, Charlotte Runcie, born in 1989, and James is also stepfather to Marilyn's daughter, Rosie Kellagher, born in 1978. Kellagher is a freelance theatre director. [15] Charlotte is a writer and poet who studied at Cambridge University.[16]

Runcie currently lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ James Runcie, Bloomsbury
  2. ^ Humphrey Carpenter, Robert Runcie: The Reluctant Archbishop. Hodder & Stoughton, 1996. ISBN 0-340-57107-1. pp. 269–272
  3. ^ Desmond Devitt (editor), A Diversity of Dragons, 2003. pp. 51–52, An affair to remember.
  4. ^ Barry Forshaw, "Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie", The Independent
  5. ^ Marilyn Stasio, "Chilled to the Bone", The New York Times
  6. ^ "Sidney Chambers and the Perils of the Night (Grantchester Mysteries) [Paperback]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.itv.com/presscentre/press-releases/itv-announces-cast-new-six-part-drama-grantchester
  8. ^ James Runcie always faced a hard task in living up to his parents' expectations – his father was Archbishop of Canterbury after all. But then he realised he was imposing a worse burden on his own children Sins of the father (and mother) | Life and style. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  9. ^ James Runcie's top 10 books about brothers | Books | guardian.co.uk. Guardian. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  10. ^ from “Kissing joy as it flies”. James Runcie. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  11. ^ Film C.V. James Runcie. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  12. ^ Bath Festivals. Bathlitfest.org.uk. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  13. ^ Bath Box Office news
  14. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Marilyn Elsie Imrie". The Peerage. [unreliable source]
  15. ^ New voices, new directions and no resting on their laurels – Herald Scotland. Theherald.co.uk (2007-04-03). Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  16. ^ a b James Runcie interview: Canterbury tales – The Scotsman. Thescotsman.scotsman.com. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.

External links[edit]