David Andrews (director)

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For other people named David Andrews, see David Andrews (disambiguation).
David Andrews
Born David Andrews
(1935-10-22)22 October 1935
Occupation Television director, actor, writer
Years active 1959–2007

David Andrews (born 22 October 1935) was a British television character actor from 1959 to 2007 who during the 1960s also became a director for television. His directing credits include The Revenue Men, Take The High Road, Jupiter Moon, EastEnders, Hollyoaks, and Grange Hill.

Career[edit]

David (aka Davy) Andrews was originally an actor and had considerable success on television throughout the 1960’s. He also appeared on the West End stage, on film and on radio. He became a full time television director is the early 1970’s. Born in England of Scottish and Irish descent he spent his early childhood in Scotland. He was educated at Kings College, Taunton and the Whitgift Middle School, Croydon (now the Trinity School of John Whitgift). In 1958, after National Service in the RAF, he graduated from the Central (now the Royal Central) School of Speech and Drama, winning the Gold Medal and Rawlings Cup. He was invited by George Devine to join the English Stage Company at the Royal Court Theatre in London, taking part in an actors’ workshop to study Sandford Meisner’s improvisation technique under Anthony Page. That led to his first West End part in the historic Willis Hall play, “The Long and the Short and the Tall”. There followed several more West End roles and the beginning of his television career.

As an actor Andrews starred or featured in dozens of plays, drama series and serials both for BBC and ITV, most notably “Z-Cars”, “The Avengers”, “Armchair Theatre”, “Play of the Week”, “The Sunday Play” and “Play of the Month”. He was often heard in leading roles on BBC radio drama and appeared in several movies, starring in two: ‘Some People’ with Kenneth More and David Hemmings and “A Place to Go” with Mike Sarne, Rita Tushingham and Bernard Lee. His last starring television appearance was as Honore de St Just, in “Danton”, with Anthony Hopkins, directed by Stuart Burge for the BBC. Andrews worked with many distinguished directors and actors of his time, and several of his personal friends in the profession became knights and dames of the realm.

David Andrews’ work with Anthony Page at the Royal Court inspired him to become a director and whenever appropriate he applied Page’s teaching to his own work. Under the supervision of John Huntley and Michael Balcon, he wrote the screenplay and co-directed, with his then wife Tamara Hinchco, a film for the British Film Institute based on a John Arden one-act play. That led to an offer by John McGrath to write the screenplay and direct a 35mm film for BBC 2 based on a novella by Michael Hastings. Eventually he was granted a place on the BBC Television Directors’ Training Course by Sidney Newman, then BBC TV’s Head of Drama.

Andrews’ first job as a television director was on the BBC’s “Thirty Minute Theatre” anthology play series and “The Revenue Men” series for BBC Scotland. The legendary “Dr Finlay’s Casebook” series which was also for BBC Scotland (and in which he had appeared as an actor), followed. At Yorkshire Television he directed the “Gazette” series then went to Granada to direct a play in the “Murder” anthology play series.

In 1972 David Andrews joined the Central Office of Information where he directed documentaries for the Police, Prison and Fire Services. He produced promotional films for the Departments of Employment, Energy and Transport but his main portfolio consisted of recruiting commercials for the Army and Army Aviation, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force. That was followed by a year directing the “AfterNoon” magazine programme for Thames Television.

In 1978 he became a Senior Producer-Director on the staff of Scottish Television where he directed about 170 episodes of “Take the High Road”. He also directed the network drama series “Charles Endell Esq.” and “Skin Deep”, the award-winning play “Extras”, the “Preview” anthology play series and the award winning 6-part serial for children, “Stookie”. He made a number of other prime time dramas for STV and many educational, news, current affairs, music and local programmes and programmes for the fast-growing Gaelic audience.

Leaving STV in 1990 Andrews returned to freelance work directing the drama series “Jupiter Moon”, “Grange Hill”, “EastEnders”, “Families”, “River City” and “Strathblair”. He was flagship director on “The Biz”, a six part BBC serial for “kidults”. In 1996 he joined Mersey Television as a Senior Director and Depute Producer, directing 220 episodes of “Hollyoaks”, 30 episodes of the new “Grange Hill” and producing 30 episodes of “Brookside”. He left Mersey TV in 2005 when it was sold to All-3-Media.

Living in Scotland, David continues working as a writer, doing voice-overs and taking occasional cameo roles on television. Better known in Scotland as Davy Andrews, he is also a singer and leads a traditional band in Glasgow.

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