18 April 1940
Stepney, London, England
|Notable credit(s)||98 books, TV series, journalist|
|Spouse(s)||Eileen Giller (1936–2006)|
|Partner(s)||Jackie Wright (2006–present)|
|Children||Lisa and Michael|
Norman Giller (born 18 April 1940, Stepney, East End, London) is an English author, a sports historian and television scriptwriter.
With 99 books to his name, Norman Giller is a prolific author who served his writing apprenticeship as a notable Fleet Street journalist. He was chief football reporter with the Daily Express in London (1964–74), and has been a freelance writer since leaving Fleet Street in 1974. He spent 14 years as a member of the This Is Your Life scriptwriting team, and devised several television series including Who's the Greatest? (ITV, 1980s), The Games of 48 and Over the Moon, Brian (ITV 1990s), Petrolheads (BBC2 2006); he co-produced 63 editions of Stand and Deliver (Sky TV, 1990s), and was scriptwriter and co-producer with Top Gear director Brian Klein of more than 50 sports-based videos/DVDs, featuring celebrities such as Gordon Ramsay, Ray Winstone, Alan Hansen, John Motson, Dickie Bird, Frank Bruno, Frankie Dettori, Lawrence Dallaglio, Harry Carpenter, and Jimmy Greaves. His output has also included crosswords and puzzle games with The Times, Daily and Sunday Express, The Sun, Sunday Telegraph and London Evening News. He has compiled the annual Times Sports Jumbo Crossword for 30 consecutive years, his 2011 100-clue challenge being Olympic themed.
The 96th book from the Giller pen is Bill Nicholson Revisited, based on conversations over a span of more than 40 years with former Spurs manager Nicholson It was published in the autumn of 2013. Book No 97, published in June 2014 www.normangillerbooks.com is a biography of former Northern Ireland skipper and, later, distinguished journalist Danny Blanchflower, who famously turned down the This Is Your Life book. Called Danny Blanchflower, This WAS His Life, profits from the book go to the Tottenham Tribute Trust, to help old players suffering from the sort of dementia that clouded Danny's final years.
His 93rd book – Sir Henry Cooper A Hero for All Time was published in June 2012, and before that he self-published Tottenham, The Glory-Glory Game, which he wrote with members of the Spurs Writers' Club, which he formed in 2011.
Book No 94 followed in December 2012. It is called Bobby Moore The Master, and tells the story of the former England football captain's life on and off the pitch. All profits for the book go to the Bobby Moore Cancer Fund and it was published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Moore's death from bowel cancer in February 2013. No 95 was Keys to Paradise, an adult novel in harness with first-time American novelist, Jeni Robbins.
Giller was the argument-settling Judge of The Sun for ten years, and he and his sports statistician son Michael set the 2,000 questions for the DVD version of Football Trivial Pursuit. With his then business partner Peter Lorenzo and associate Malcolm Rowley, Giller created one of the first major pub quiz competitions in 1974. It was called What's Yours? and had 64 competing pubs in a series sponsored by the Charrington's chain in south-east England.
In late 2011, Giller had his 90th book published, Tottenham, the Managing Game, written with the help of his Facebook and Twitter friends.
His 81st book was a collaboration with Pelé and Gordon Banks and in partnership with their UK agent Terry Baker, a limited edition featuring an in-depth look at their careers and, in particular, the famous Banks save against Pelé for England against Brazil in the 1970 World Cup finals. Giller has a regular Fleet Street nostalgia blog at the Sports Journalists' Association website
Giller's 82nd book was The Lane of Dreams, a complete history of the Tottenham Hotspur ground at White Hart Lane before the bulldozers move in. The book is introduced by Jimmy Greaves and Steve Perryman. It is a self-published book by Giller, who experimented by having the second-half written on line by Tottenham supporters. Giller provided the facts; the fans provided the feelings. He had six books published in 2010, written in collaboration with his sports statistician son, Michael Giller, and leading sports agent Terry Baker: Jimmy Greaves At Seventy and The Golden Double, the story of Tottenham's historic League and FA Cup triumph in 1960–61, Greavsie's Greatest (The 50 greatest post-war British strikers, selected by Jimmy Greaves), World Cup 2010, (a day to day diary of the tournament), Chopper's Chelsea, in collaboration with former Stamford Bridge captain Ron Harris, and Hammers-80, the story of West Ham United's FA Cup success of 1979–80, introduced by Sir Trevor Brooking. His 88th book is a powerful novel about corruption in football, The Glory and the Greed', which has been produced ahead of traditional publication as an e-Book for reading on screen. Book No 98, published in November 2014, was Spurs IQ, a part history, part quiz book about Tottenham Hotspur.
His 99th book, The Ali Files, was published in April 2015, and gives a fight-by-fight analysis of Muhammad Ali's ring career, and Giller is working on his 100th book, an autobiography provisionally called The Kid from Cable Street.
Giller, whose 55-year writing career started with a typewriter and carbon paper, has set up his own website as he attempts to keep a toehold in the modern world. He is a keen Wikipedian, a disciple of the Jimmy Wale creed of Free Information for All, and is dedicated to the first Wikipedia commandment of Accuracy at All Times.
Giller was born in London's East End in the first year of the Second World War, and was evacuated with his mother and three brothers to a Devonshire farm. Educated at Raine's Foundation Grammar School in Stepney, he left at 15 to become a copyboy with the London Evening News. He started his reporting career with the Stratford Express in West Ham (1957), and arrived at the Daily Express after employment as a sports sub-editor with Boxing News, the London Evening Standard and the Daily Herald.
Giller has worked extensively in PR and for ten years represented former boxing world champions Frank Bruno, John H Stracey, Jim Watt, Maurice Hope (all managed by his best friend Terry Lawless), and (for his European fights) Muhammad Ali ("He needed a PR like Einstein needed a calculator", says Giller). He wrote regular newspaper and magazine columns in harness with Eric Morecambe for nine years, and also had collaborations with comedians Benny Hill and Tommy Cooper. Giller was commissioned to write six Carry On novels, sequels to the popular films. He also scripted an adult pantomime for EastEnders co-stars Mike Reid and Barbara Windsor, and was chief scriptwriter for the Laureus World Sports Awards when they were staged in Monte Carlo.
He was married for 45 years to Eileen, who passed on in 2006. Giller has two grown children, Lisa and Michael, and four grandchildren (his favourite being Kate). When Eileen died following renal failure, Giller raised more than £15,000 for the Dorset Kidney Fund by building a Wall of Love on the internet. On what would have been their 54th wedding anniversary, Giller posted a song in memory of his wife here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5dLFd1glK0 It is called Thank You for the Best Years of My Life, and has been taken up by many people to say 'thank you' to a loved one.
Hoping to reach 100 books before he leaves this mortal coil, Giller is currently based in Hampshire in the Test Valley where he runs a sports facts, figures and research service with his son, Michael. They organize themed quiz nights. Giller and his partner, Jackie Wright, specialise in Powerpoint-supported presentations on such themes as the life and music of Rodgers and Hart, the Gershwin brothers and Frank Sinatra; also the Footballing Fifties and Sixties, and the life and times of Billy Wright and Denis Compton, plus an illustrated lecture for literary associations and clubs entitled 'If You Can Write A Postcard, You Can Write A Book'. Giller was webmaster for the recently disbanded Wessex branch of the Frank Sinatra Music Society. He writes regular blogs for the www.spursodyssey.com and http://www.sportsjournalists.co.uk/tag/norman-giller/ websites.
Henry Cooper A Hero for All Time
Books in collaboration with Ricky Tomlinson
Books in collaboration with Jimmy Greaves
- This Is Your Life scriptwriter (1981–1995)
- Including programmes featuring Sir Richard Branson, Sir Jimmy Savile, Frank Bruno, Paul Daniels, Simon Weston, Ruth Madoc, Dan Maskell, Cliff Morgan, Denis Compton, Billy Wright, Peter Shilton, John Surtees, Nigel Mansell, Peter Alliss, Henry Cotton, Terry Lawless, Joe Johnson, James Herbert, Jack 'Kid' Berg, Reg Gutteridge, Mike Reid, Stan Boardman, Benny Green, George Shearing, Helen Shapiro
- Who's the Greatest, devisor and scriptwriter of an ITV series that involved celebrities such as:
- Sir David Frost, Sir Michael Parkinson, Sir Jeffrey Archer, Tom Graveney, Gloria Hunniford, Eamonn Andrews, Tom O'Connor, Stan Boardman, Bernie Winters, Dennis Waterman, Willie Rushton and Henry Cooper.
- Stunt Challenge for ITV (in the 1980s, scriptwriter with Derek Thompson.
- Stand and Deliver for Sky TV (co-producer with Brian Klein of on the Box Productions)
- 63 comedy programmes featuring, among others, Mike Reid, Norman Collier, Frank Carson, Jim Bowen, Stan Boardman, Ted Rogers, Cannon and Ball and Bernard Manning.
- Petrolheads (2006 for BBC2), devisor and scriptwriter
- Regular panellists were Richard Hammond, Chris Barrie and presenter Neil Morrissey. Featured guests included Eamonn Holmes, Murray Walker, Ricky Tomlinson, Ronan Keating, James May, Philip Glenister.
- Over the Moon, Brian (ITV), devisor and scriptwriter
- "The Times | UK News, World News and Opinion". Timesonline.co.uk. 2010-11-27. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
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- "The Lane of Dreams". Thelaneofdreams.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
- "normangillerbooks.com". normangillerbooks.com. Retrieved 2014-05-20.
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- "England Book Review - Norman Giller, Billy Wright: A Hero for All Seasons". Englandfootballonline.com. Retrieved 2014-05-20.