Matthew Baylis

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Matthew Baylis (b. Nottingham, 1971) also known as Matt Baylis and M.H. Baylis is a British novelist, screenwriter and journalist. He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School, Crosby, and Trinity College, Cambridge, and spent most of his early years in Southport, Merseyside.

A former storyliner on BBC 1’s flagship drama series EastEnders, he also adapted Catrin Collier’s 1930’s-set novel Hearts of Gold for the screen, and this was broadcast as a two-parter on BBC 1 in July 2003.[1]

He subsequently went with his former EastEnders boss, Matthew Robinson, to Kenya, where he co-created, co-storylined and trained a team of local writers for a six-part drama pilot.[2] Robinson later invited him to Cambodia, to do the same on Taste of Life, a major Cambodian drama series funded by the BBC World Service Trust and the Department for International Development.[3]

Continuing his involvement in Cambodia, Baylis scripted Palace of Dreams, a BBCWST-funded romantic comedy film, aimed at younger audiences;[4] Vanished – a film-noir thriller, made by Khmer Mekong Films, which showed to great acclaim across Cambodia in 2009, and has been shown at the Pyongyang International Film Festival;[5] and he co-created, and wrote scripts for AirWaves, a contemporary drama series funded by the U.S. government, which is currently showing on Cambodia’s TV channel CTN.[6]

The author of two comic novels, Stranger than Fulham[7] and The Last Ealing Comedy[8] he has been the television critic for the Daily Express since September 2005 – where he writes as Matt Baylis – and also written on television and other subjects for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, Independent on Sunday and Daily Mail.

His third novel A Death At the Palace is a crime thriller set in Tottenham - the first in the Rex Tracey series - and it was published by Old Street on 13 March 2013.[9]

The 2013 book Man Belong Mrs Queen gives an account of his time on Tanna Island, Vanuatu, researching the Prince Philip Movement .[10] In December 2013 and January 2014 the book was BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week.[11]

His fourth novel, and the second in the Rex Tracey series of Haringey-set crime thrillers, is The Tottenham Outrage published on 15 July 2014 by Old Street. As well as a contemporary mystery on the streets of North London, this book presents a fact-based, but fictionalized re-imagining of the real Tottenham Outrage, a bungled robbery attempt by Russian anarchists in January 1909.[12]

He is married and lives in Highgate, North London, with his wife and son.


  1. ^ International Movie Database – Hearts of Gold, BBC One,
  2. ^ United Nations Kenya
  3. ^ Monroe, Jo. "Soap and Charity" The Observer, London, Sunday 8 August 2004. Retrieved on 6 October 2010
  4. ^ BBC World Service Trust
  5. ^ Variety review of Vanished
  6. ^
  7. ^ Stranger than Fulham Baylis, Matthew (1999) Chatto & Windus, London. ISBN 0-7011-6857-9
  8. ^ The Last Ealing Comedy Baylis, Matthew (2003) Chatto & Windus, London. ISBN 0-7011-6858-7
  9. ^ Baylis, Matthew. "Looking Back At Anger" . Daily Express. London. Friday 24 September 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2010
  10. ^ Baylis, M. 2013, Man Belong Mrs Queen: Adventures with the Philip Worshippers, London: Old Street Publishing, ISBN 978-190869964-0
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ ISBN 978-1-908699-67-1.