Matthew Robinson (producer)

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For other people named Matthew Robinson, see Matthew Robinson (disambiguation).
Matthew Robinson
Born (1944-07-27) 27 July 1944 (age 69)
London, England, UK
Nationality British
Ethnicity White British
Occupation Film, television and executive
producer, television director and writer
Years active 1966–present
Television EastEnders
Byker Grove
Relatives Tom Robinson (Brother)

Matthew Robinson (born 27 July 1944) is a British film & television executive producer, producer, director and writer.

Nicknamed Pope of Soap by UK tabloid The Sun, Robinson was lead director of BBC1's soap opera EastEnders when it launched in 1985. His early casting included Den Watts (Dirty Den), Pauline Fowler, Dot Cotton, Nick Cotton, Ian Beale, Charlie Cotton, Tony Carpenter.

From 1989 to 95 Robinson set up, produced and directed the teenage soap opera Byker Grove. He cast Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly as teenage heroes P.J. and Duncan and in 1993 launched their post-Byker Grove careers. Now known as Ant & Dec they are the UK's foremost light entertainment act.

In 1998 Robinson was appointed EastEnders' Executive Producer by Mal Young, BBC Head of Drama Series and Peter Salmon, Controller BBC1.

During his reign EastEnders won the BAFTA for "Best Soap" in consecutive years 1999 & 2000 and many other awards.

Robinson also earned tabloid soubriquet Axeman of Albert Square after sacking a large number of characters in one hit including; Sanjay Kapoor, Gita Kapoor, Neelam Kapoor, Michael Rose, Susan Rose, Bruno di Marco, Luisa di Marco, Chris Clarke, Ruth Fowler and George Palmer. He later went on to axe others characters including Tony Hills, Simon Raymond and Huw Edwards.

In their place Robinson introduced new long-running characters including Melanie Healy, Jamie Mitchell, Lisa Shaw, Steve Owen and Billy Mitchell.

He quit EastEnders in 2000 to serve as Head of Drama for BBC Wales.

In May 2003, Robinson left the UK for Cambodia to devise and produce a HIV health-related TV drama. The 100 episodes of Taste of Life - broadcast on the main entertainment channel, TV5, repeated on the state channel TVK - were financed by the British Government through DFID managed by the BBC World Service Trust. In 2006, after Taste of Life ended its run, he set up a film production company, Khmer Mekong Films, KMF, operating from Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh.

In addition to KMF's many TV dramas, documentaries and TV Spots, he has produced two Khmer language feature films, both released on the Cambodian cinema circuit - Staying Single When, 2007, and Vanished, 2009.

His younger brother is musician, broadcaster and gay rights activist Tom Robinson.

Robinson was educated at the Friends School in Saffron Walden (1958–63) and King's College, Cambridge (1963–66) studying economics and editing Cambridge University student newspaper Varsity (Cambridge).

He started directing in BBC Current Affairs (1969–73) on The Money Programme, 24 Hours and Nationwide. This was followed by many episodes of popular TV drama including Coronation Street, Brookside, Angels, Emmerdale and two Doctor Who adventures broadcast in 1984 and 1985 (Resurrection of the Daleks and Attack of the Cybermen). Under pseudonym Henry Seaton he wrote 30 episodes of Central TV's Crossroads in 1986. Writing work also included two plays about television - Did Anyone Else Think TK9 Was Brilliant? and SUDS - staged in two London Fringe theatres in 1981 and 1983.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Jane Harris
Executive Producer of EastEnders
1998–2000
Succeeded by
John Yorke
Preceded by
Pedr James
BBC Wales Head of Drama
2000–3
Succeeded by
Julie Gardner