Keith Topping

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Keith Topping
Topping, Keith.jpg
Keith Topping at a Doctor Who fan convention
Born Keith Andrew Topping
(1963-10-26) October 26, 1963 (age 51)
Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne
Nationality British
Occupation author, journalist and broadcaster

Keith Andrew Topping (born (1963-10-26)October 26, 1963 in Walker, Tyneside) is an author, journalist and broadcaster most closely associated[who?] with his work relating to the BBC Television series Doctor Who and for writing numerous official and unofficial guide books to a wide variety of television and film series, specifically Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

He is also the author of two books of rock music critique. To date, Topping has written more than 40 books.

Early life and background[edit]

Keith Topping's parents were Thomas Topping (1918–1991) and Lily Lamb (b. 1920) and he has two much older brothers, Terrence John (b. 1944) and Thomas Colin (b. 1948)[citation needed]. Topping's family have Irish, Scottish, East Anglian (Snape, Suffolk, Great Yarmouth) and Cumbrian (Crosby-on-Eden) roots as well as North Eastern[citation needed]. He is a distant relative of the Morpeth landscape artist Thomas Bowman Garvie (1859–1944)[citation needed]. Topping's great-great-uncle was the Tyneside journalist and columnist Albert Elliott.[citation needed]

He worked for the Civil Service as an Administrative Officer in the, then, Department of Employment between 1983 and 2001 when he left to pursue a full-time freelance writing career.[citation needed]


Topping's first published fiction was the BBC Books "Past Doctor Adventure" The Devil Goblins from Neptune in 1997. The novel was co-written with his friend and frequent collaborator Martin Day.[citation needed]

The pair quickly followed this up with the acclaimed novel The Hollow Men in 1998.[citation needed]

Following Day's move into TV scripting, Topping wrote the novels The King of Terror (2000) and Byzantium! (2001) solo. The latter novel is the only BBC Books Past Doctor Adventure to be set entirely within one episode of the television series Doctor Who — 1965's The Romans by Dennis Spooner.[citation needed]

Topping also wrote the Telos Doctor Who novella Ghost Ship which was published in 2002 and reissued as a paperback in 2003.

As well as writing fiction, Topping has also authored numerous programme guides to television series. These were all published by Virgin Books, and co-written with Martin Day and Paul Cornell.[citation needed]

Cornell, Day and Topping also collaborated on the Doctor Who Discontinuity Guide, published by Virgin Books in 1995 and re-issued, in the US, by MonkeyBrain Books in 2004, a lighthearted guide to the mistakes and incongruities of the television series.[citation needed]

The trio had first worked together co-writing two editions of The Guinness Book of Classic British Television (1993 and 1996 respectively).[citation needed]

Subsequently, Topping wrote The Complete Slayer: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Every Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, amongst others. According to the 2003 book Slayer Slang by Michael Adams (Oxford University Press), Topping was the originator of the word 'vampiry' (adj. "exhibiting features of a vampire") in the January 2000 edition of his book Slayer (pg. 26).[citation needed]

In addition, Topping has been a regular contributor of articles and reviews to several TV and genre titles including TV Zone, Xposé and Shivers and is a former Contributing Editor of Dreamwatch. He also worked as Project Consultant on Charmed: The Complete DVD Collection.[citation needed]

On radio, Topping was the Producer/Presenter of the monthly Book Club (2005–2007) and co-presented a daily television review slot, Keith Telly Topping's Top TV Tips, Monday to Friday, on The Simon Logan Show for BBC Newcastle (2006-2012).[citation needed]

He has also contributed to the BBC television series' I Love the '70s, Call The Cops and The Perfect Detective and has written for Sounds, the Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times Culture Supplement..[citation needed]

Topping writes, and occasionally performs, stand-up comedy.

Topping continues to live and work on Tyneside.


Short stories[edit]

  • In the Midst of Life We Are in Death, Et Cetera (in Drabble Who, Beccon Publications, 1993, ISBN 1-870824-21-0)
  • Chain Male (in Perfect Timing. Privately Printed, 1998)
  • Disturbance at the Heron House (in Missing Pieces, Gallifrey Publishing, 2001)
  • Skulduggery? (co-written with Suzanne M Campagna, in Lifedeath, Ambrosia Press, 2001).
  • Prisoner of Conscience. To be published in 2007.[dated info]

External links[edit]