G. F. Newman

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G.F. Newman
Born (1947-05-22) 22 May 1947 (age 71)
Kent, England
OccupationWriter and television producer
GenreCrime fiction and politics

Gordon Frank Newman (born 22 May 1947)[1][2] is an English writer and television producer. In addition to his two earlier series Law and Order and The Nation's Health, each based on his books, he is known for more recent TV series including Judge John Deed and New Street Law. He is currently working on a follow-up to Law and Order, and a series of single plays for the BBC.

Newman's first book, Sir, You Bastard was a bestseller on publication in 1970. It was to become the first in a series of 3 works featuring the character of Terry Sneed, an unscrupulous Scotland Yard inspector. The second of these is You Nice Bastard and the third You Flash Bastard/The Price. Other books he has written include Billy, The List, The Men with the Guns, Charlie and Joanna, Three Professional Ladies, Trading the Future / Circle of Poison, Law and Order, The Nation's Health, and his 2009 novel Crime and Punishment adapted for radio and broadcast as The Corrupted.

Together with screenwriter and novelist Matthew Hall he owns and runs the production company One Eyed Dog Ltd.


Gordon Newman was born in Kent in 1947. He recounts the story of how, as a child, he was cuffed round the ear by a policeman who accused him of stealing. The blow left Newman deaf in his right ear.[3]

Wanting to be a star, he attended acting school at the age of 16, where he learnt about Stanislavski. His first script was written, at the age of 18, for the ITV police series No Hiding Place (1959–67).[3][4]

Writings in relation to personal views[edit]

Newman has very strong and sometimes controversial views on a variety of subjects, and these are reflected in his choice of subjects for writing.[5] He has little faith in conventional medicine, believing that alternative therapy is far more effective. He claims that doctors are not interested in prevention, and are too close to the interests of the major pharmaceutical companies in just releasing ever more powerful drugs. He does acknowledge the benefits of nursing though, and in The Nation's Health, a newly qualified doctor goes to work at an NHS hospital- with her training taking her through the hospital's various departments, her idealistic aspirations come under threat.

He is also not impressed by the police service. He joked that he would rather see community members wearing pink uniforms working to prevent disturbances in their own areas.[5]

He is also a devout vegan, and when producing or directing television programmes insists that no meat at all is consumed on the sets. He says he has no problem with the act of eating flesh in itself, but it is the attitude that because one species is stronger or more sophisticated than another it has the right to kill it which he is strongly against. Therefore, if an animal died of natural causes and someone wanted to eat it he would have no problem with that.[5]

Having no political allegiance to either left or right wings, he once considered starting his own party on his passionate issues, but realized that getting over 600 strong candidates who completely agreed with all his views would be too tough.[5]


Terry Sneed trilogy

  1. Sir, You Bastard aka Rogue Cop (1970) ISBN 9780491002547 -Adapted as a film called 'The Take' (1974)[6]
  2. You Nice Bastard (1972) ISBN 9780450011993
  3. You Flash Bastard aka The Price (1974) ISBN 9780450021114

Law & Order

TV Series:

  1. Detective's Tale (1977)
  2. Villain's Tale (1977)
  3. A Brief's Tale (1977)
  4. Prisoner's Tale (1977)

Books: A trilogy of works consisting of

  1. 'A Detective's Tale' ISBN 9780722163498
  2. 'A Villain's Tale' ISBN 978-0722163634
  3. 'A Prisoner's Tale' ISBN 978-0722163641

An omnibus edition including all three was published in 1984 by HarperCollins ISBN 9780586057834.[7]

The Nation's Health Published in the UK by HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0586052303,[8] and broadcast on Channel 4 in 1983.[9]

  1. Acute
  2. Decline
  3. Chronic
  4. Collapse

Number One (1984, 1985 according to IMDB),[10] about the exploitation of a snooker player by a professional promoter[3]

Screen One

Series One

  • Nineteen 96 (1989) [3]

Series Four

  • Black and Blue (1992)

Screen Two

Series Five

  • Here is the News (1989)[3]

For the Greater Good (3 Episodes, BBC, 1991):[3][11]

  • Member (1991)
  • Mandarin (1991)
  • Minister (1991)

The Healer

  • The Healer (2 Part TV Movie, BBC, 1994)[12][13] -The Healer received a Bafta award in 1996.[14]


Series Eight, Episode 9[15]

  • Woe to the Hunter (1996)[16]

Judge John Deed

  1. Pilot (2001)
  2. Series 1 (2001)
  3. Series 2 (2002)
  4. Series 3 (2003–2004)
  5. Series 4 (2005)
  6. Series 5 (2006)
  7. Series 6 (2007)

New Street Law (2006-2007)

  1. Series 1 (2006)
  2. Series 2 (2007) NB IMDB credits Newman as 'co-creator' of 4 of the 6 episodes of Series 2.[17]

The Corrupted (2013/2015/2017)[18][19][20]

The Corrupted is an adaption of Newman's novel Crime and Punishment; it was broadcast on BBC Radio 4's afternoon play slot.

Other Novels


Genre Fiction

The Corrupted[edit]

Series 1,[18] a 10 part radio drama, was the first part of an adaption of his Crime and Punishment novel. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4's afternoon play slot (2013).[23][24]

Series 2, a further 10 part radio drama, formed the second part, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 starting 19 January 2015.[19]

Series 3 began airing on Radio 4 on Monday 9 January 2017.[20]

Broadcasting of Series 4 began on Radio 4 on Monday 25 June 2018.[25]

List of episodes of The Corrupted[edit]

The table lists Episodes of The Corrupted.[26][27]

Series Episode Synopsis Date First Broadcast
1 1 As London celebrates the 1951 Festival of Britain, a boy witnesses a murder. 21 Oct 2013
1 2 While Jack dodges his call-up, Joey is desperate to start his own business. 22 Oct 2013
1 3 Jack is reluctant to leave the house after the Krays' attack, but Billy has other plans. 23 Oct 2013
1 4 Jack is riding high with his first taste of crime - but then his mother falls ill. 24 Oct 2013
1 5 Jack is forced into completing national service, but he refuses to box for his regiment. 25 Oct 2013
1 6 While working in a shoe shop, Brian meets the MP Tom Driberg and embarks on a new course. 28 Oct 2013
1 7 Joey is determined to find a way for Brian to avoid National Service. 29 Oct 2013
1 8 Joey starts investing in property in rundown Notting Hill Gate. But who will live there? 30 Oct 2013
1 9 Brian is seriously hurt in gangland warfare and not sure if he can return to his old life. 31 Oct 2013
1 10 Brian and Jack harbour rival feelings for Leah, and Joey makes deals to secure his future. 01 Nov 2013
2 1 Joey finds a gun Brian has hidden at his house, panics and calls the police. 19 Jan 2015
2 2 Joey borrows a lot of money to invest in the Minister of Transport's road-building company 20 Jan 2015
2 3 Jack goes to prison with help from Joey and Cath, who plant Brian's gun at his flat. 21 Jan 2015
2 4 Joey is approached by the police to fence a lot of money from the Great Train Robbery. 22 Jan 2015
2 5 An elite band of policemen is formed to tackle the 'firms' and corrupt police officers. 23 Jan 2015
2 6 Jack gets paranoid as Brian and the firm plot against him over a robbery they have planned 26 Jan 2015
2 7 Councillor Margaret Courtney helps Joey corrupt officials, while continuing their affair. 27 Jan 2015
2 8 Brian gets scared of Jack's madness and asks his dad Joey to help him escape his influence 28 Jan 2015
2 9 The police are trying to arrest Jack and put pressure on Brian to turn Queen's Evidence. 29 Jan 2015
2 10 Tony Wednesday manoeuvres Jack and Brian into court, then gets a big surprise from Joey. 30 Jan 2015
3 1 It's the 1970s and Brian Oldman is still in jail - desperate to get out. Joseph Oldman (Toby Jones) is pulling every corrupt string possible to help him. 9 Jan 2017
3 2 Brian Oldman has managed to gain release from Brixton prison through various nefarious means, while Joseph (Toby Jones) continues to move in ever higher circles in the Tory party. 10 Jan 2017
3 3 Joseph Oldman is expanding his business doing deals with a Colombian cartel. 11 Jan 2017
3 4 Jack and Brian are back in prison after a kilo of cocaine was found in Jack's flat. 12 Jan 2017
3 5 Joseph Oldman continues to juggle his life around two Margarets. 13 Jan 2017
3 6 Joseph is still being stymied by lack of progress in his building project. 16 Jan 2017
3 7 Brian makes a friend in the Kensington planning department. 17 Jan 2017
3 8 Joseph is desperate to get back to work and save his building development. 18 Jan 2017
3 9 The police have found a tape proving who started the fire at Joseph's buildings. 19 Jan 2017
3 10 Brian faces a life sentence for a murder he says he didn't commit. 20 Jan 2017
4 1 It is the 1980s and Brian Oldman is back in jail for a crime he didn't commit. He suspects, but cannot prove, that his stepfather Joseph Oldman, now Joseph Olinska MP, was the perpetrator. 25 June 2018
4 2 While his stepson Brian languishes in jail, Joseph continues to launder money for South American drug barons. 26 June 2018
4 3 Joseph will stop at nothing to further his influence, but his plans are jeopardised when the head of the secret service threatens to tell Catherine everything. 27 June 2018
4 4 After initial delays, the prime minister has finally agreed to Joseph's knighthood. His real agenda continues unnoticed. 28 June 2018
4 5 Brian Oldman is back in jail for a crime he did not commit. He suspects, but cannot prove, that Joseph Oldman, now Joseph Olinska MP, was the perpetrator. 29 June 2018
4 6 Brian tries to help a fellow prisoner as he enjoys a perverse kind of celebrity status in jail, while Joseph is introduced to the Guinness executives. 2 July 2018
4 7 It's the 1980s and Brian Oldman is back in jail for a crime he didn't commit. He suspects, but cannot prove, that Joseph Oldman, now Joseph Olinska MP, was the perpetrator. 3 July 2018
4 8 Brian has been sent to Broadmoor prison, where he incites riots to prove his innocence. 4 July 2018
4 9 Brian is back in jail for a crime he did not commit, convinced Joseph was the real perpetrator. He soon meets a hardened convict who is planning an escape, and decides to join him. 5 July 2018
4 10 Leah works hard to get Brian out of Broadmoor arguing that as he was able to escape and stay out of sight, then he cannot be insane. 6 July 2018


The BBC's Feedback programme on 27/01/2017 included discussion on Series 3 of The Corrupted, including talking "to Radio 4's Commissioning Editor for Drama, Jeremy Howe, about why he felt The Corrupted was worth 7 hours of airtime over just two weeks" and the assessment that "many loved it, though some were not so keen on the venal themes".[28]

Describing the series as 'Fiction in a factual world', Feedback went on to note the suggestion in The Corrupted storyline, that, after the character Joseph Oldman had deployed some of his wealth to bankroll the Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher (ignorant of his gangster background) expressed interest in appointing him to the post of chancellor of the exchequer. It also discussed the murder of Airey Neave, which - although claimed by the INLA - by juxtaposition of themes in the series, it was implied, might have had some level of involvement of The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), or MI5, who might have desired to silence him to avoid exposure of others with influence.[28]


In May 1994 Newman gave a half-hour Opinions lecture televised on Channel 4 and subsequently published in The Independent as "Wisdom Needs No Votes".[29]

Trading The Future[edit]

Trading The Future was initially published by Macdonald in the UK in a hardcover edition in 1991. It was subsequently re-released as Circle of Poison, in 1995.[30] See the related topic, Circle of Poison.


When a child dies after playing in a crop field in Norfolk, her mother suspects pesticide poisoning. However, her enquiries seem to be thwarted at every turn. Eventually she meets an American plant geneticist at Cambridge, and her concerns regarding pesticides are confirmed. However, evidence emerges not only about the pesticide, but also of a genetically engineered wheat seed. Their suspicions are raised further as their enquiries meet with ever more violent responses. Their investigations take them to Washington, Mexico and the Mid-West US, where the stakes increase. It transpires that while there is a potential fortune to be made trading wheat futures, there is also a plot to sabotage the Russian wheat harvest.[30][31][32]

For the Greater Good[edit]

A three-part Whitehall drama series, with the titles (Member, Mandarin, Minister) reflecting the perspectives of the three principal protagonists (a British Member of Parliament, a Whitehall Civil Servant, and a Government Minister, respectively). It was first aired on the BBC in 1991.[11][33][34] Theme music was by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.[35]



With the prisons seething, Aids apparently out of control, and the Government nowhere in the opinion polls, a Tory back-bencher has to make a crisis choice between ambition, conscience and a questionable private life.


A high-flying civil servant ('mandarin') discovers a conspiracy at the Home Office. She must choose between loyalty to her leader and leaking to the press.


Before the politicians can reform Britain's brutal prison system by privatisation, the tabloid press destroys their careers by publishing exposés of their sex lives.

The Nation's Health[edit]

The Nation's Health is a 4 episode series written by G.F.Newman based on his book of the same name, originally broadcast on the fledgling Channel 4 UK TV channel in 1983.

The series consists of four episodes that are, in order, titled: Acute, Decline, Chronic, and Collapse. In it we are faced with a maelstrom of political issues, illnesses, fatalities, personal greed and professional vanities. As may be clear from these titles, the series draws a relentlessly bleak view of the NHS in 1980s Britain.[36]


While each episode stands alone, the hospital, characters, and some strands of the stories are common through the series. The series presents a view of the NHS through the eyes of Dr. Jessie Marvill (Vivienne Ritchie), a young doctor at a fictional inner city teaching hospital, St Clair’s, who at this stage of her life is trying to work out what career path to take within the NHS.[37]


Sherryl Wilson[38] writes: Although the series is a negative critique of the NHS staff in general, it does also offer a damning insight into the policies that were seen to be disabling the NHS.[36]

In a BMJ abstract[37] one can read: How “little relation to reality” these programmes bore to the NHS in the early 1980s is up for debate, but something in these programmes smacks of truth, raising questions that still need to be asked of the NHS and its staff. Sherryl Wilson draws a comparison with conclusions from the 2009 enquiry into Stafford Hospital.[36] The BMJ abstract continues These programmes make fascinating if difficult watching, because they do not show the deference towards the medical profession and the NHS shown by previous British dramas such as Doctor Finlay’s Casebook, General Hospital, and Emergency—Ward 10. Their gritty influence on later British medical dramas, such as Casualty can be seen clearly.[37]


See, for example, the credits at Screenonline.[9]

Terry Sneed 'Bastard' Series[edit]

Newman's first big success was in novels: specifically, with what was to become a series of 3 works featuring a certain Terry Sneed:

  • Sir, You Bastard

The story follows Terry Sneed for 36 critical hours in his life during which he attempts to extricate himself from an awkward situation after accepting a bribe to help a criminal. Hitherto, his unscrupulous behavior has reaped nothing but success: in seven years on the force, he has enjoyed meteoric success and begins the novel at the top.[39]

  • You Nice Bastard

In which we are introduced to Jack Manso, head of an organized crime group.[40][41]

  • You Flash Bastard/The Price

Detective Inspector Sneed 'accepts manipulation as a way of life' and works the system of 'checks and balances' customary in the CID. However, he is uncharacteristically cautious around a 'respected and respectable' American accountant.[42]


  1. ^ MR-GORDON-FRANK-NEWMAN listing at companycheck.co.uk/director/913086726
  2. ^ MR-GORDON-FRANK-NEWMAN listing at companycheck.co.uk/director/903014292
  3. ^ a b c d e f Screenonline page for Newman, G.F., accessed 27 March 2018
  4. ^ The cop drama that rewrote TV history at independent.co.uk, accessed 2 August 2018
  5. ^ a b c d Hattenstone, Simon (30 December 2000). "Natural lawman". The Guardian. Saturday Review. Retrieved 21 September 2007.
  6. ^ IMDB page about 'The Take', accessed 27 March 2018
  7. ^ Law and Order (Law and Order omnibus 1-3) by G.F. Newman at goodreads.com, accessed 14 May 2018
  8. ^ The Nation's Health at fantasticfiction.com, accessed 27 March 2018
  9. ^ a b Screenonline page re the Nation's Health, accessed 27 March 2018
  10. ^ Number One (1985) at imdb.com, accessed 27 March 2018
  11. ^ a b IMDB page re 'For the Greater Good', accessed 27 March 2018
  12. ^ IMDB page re 'The Healer', accessed 27 March 2018
  13. ^ The Healer at bbc.co.uk/programmes, accessed 25 May 2018
  14. ^ Cymru | Drama: English in 1996- Winner The Healer: Clive Brill, GF Newman awards.bafta.org, accessed 25 May 2018
  15. ^ IMDB page re '10x10' Series 8, accessed 27 March 2018
  16. ^ BFI page re 'Woe to the Hunter', accessed 27 March 2018
  17. ^ IMDB page re G.F. Newman mentioning New Street Law, accessed 27 March 2018
  18. ^ a b BBC page covering The Corrupted Series 1, accessed 27 March 2018
  19. ^ a b Radio Times Listing including first episode of Series 2 of The Corrupted at radiotimes.com
  20. ^ a b Episodes guide for Series 3 of The Corrupted, at bbc.co.uk/programmes Accessed 10 January 2017
  21. ^ IMDB Page for Billy on Play for Today, accessed 27 March 2018
  22. ^ Guardian Article re GFN, 'Dark Heart', and Self-Publishing at theguardian.com, accessed 14 May 2018
  23. ^ Goodreads page with Series 1 of The Corrupted available as an AudioBook at goodreads.com, accessed 14 May 2018
  24. ^ The Stage page with preliminary review of The Corrupted Series 1/
  25. ^ First episode of Series 4 of The Corrupted as scheduled at radiotimes.com, Accessed 25 June 2018
  26. ^ BBC schedule listing including all of first and second series of The Corrupted, at bbc.co.uk/programmes, acceded 14 May 2018
  27. ^ List of The Corrupted Series 3 episodes on BBC player at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes Accessed 10 January 2017
  28. ^ a b BBC's Feedback programme on 27/01/2017, bbc.co.uk/programmes Accessed 31 January 2017
  29. ^ 'The Independent', 3 May 1994
  30. ^ a b Trading The Future at slightlybetterbooks.com, accessed 19 March 2018
  31. ^ Trading The Future(1) at amazon.com, accessed 19 March 2018
  32. ^ Trading The Future(2) at amazon.com, accessed 19 March 2018
  33. ^ Screenonline page re 'for the Greater Good'
  34. ^ Judicial Images page re GFN
  35. ^ For the Greater Good (1991– ) Full Cast & Crew at imdb.com, accessed 27 March 2018
  36. ^ a b c Sherryl Wilson Paper referencing The Nation's Health
  37. ^ a b c BMJ 2011;342:d2682 -BMJ Article Referring to 'The Nation's Health' at bmj.com, accessed 14 May 2018
  38. ^ Sherryl Wilson staff page at UWE website at people.uwe.ac.uk, accessed 14 May 2018
  39. ^ Sir, you bastard Paperback – 1 Jan 1971 at amazon.co.uk, accessed 2 August 2018
  40. ^ Terry Sneed 2. You Nice Bastard at slightlybetterbooks.com, accessed 2 August 2018
  41. ^ You Nice Bastard Hardcover – 1 May 1972 at ebay.com, accessed 2 August 2018 ('Successor to the best-selling novel...')
  42. ^ Terry Sneed 3. The Price at slightlybetterbooks.com, accessed 2 August 2018

External links[edit]