Nick Abson

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Nicholas "Nick" Abson
Nick Abson.jpg
Nick Abson
Michael Nicholas Drinan

(1946-12-22) December 22, 1946 (age 71)
Devon, England
Years active41 Years
Known forFuel Cell Development, Music Video/Television Director

Nicholas Abson (born Michael Nicholas Drinan; 22 December 1946 in England), his parents were Pamela Mileece Drinan (née l'Anson) and Michael Patrick Drinan. After emigrating to Canada in 1956, Abson was adopted by his then step-father and re-christened Nicholas Michael Abson.

In 1961, Abson moved to New York City, where he attended Brooklyn Technical High School. He then went on to attend the City University of New York CUNY Manhattan and Richmond College.

In 1978, his daughter Mileece was born, a recording artist and advanced music composer, followed by his son Miles, and then Lancelot.


Fuel cell industry[edit]

In 1991, Abson started a series for the BBC centering on a Belgian fuel cell company, Elenco.[1] After becoming engrossed with the technology, he rebuilt Elenco when it entered administration from 2 employees to 200 and re-branded it as ZeTek Plc.[2] ZeTek would go on to become Europe’s largest fuel cell company pioneering fuel cell London Taxis in 1998[3][4][5] and a second generation fuel cell designed for automated production, ending the hand production previously required.[6] The first planned expansion began in Porz, near Cologne, early August 2000[7] and the second plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory[8][9] in 2001, and a third in Lebanon, Pennsylvania,[10] until it lost its investors immediately following the World Trade Center tragedy later that same year.[11] He resurrected the company as Cenergie Plc and provided shares for all but a few of the 500 ZeTek shareholders. Following a series of cyber and other commercially driven attacks, Abson resigned.

Abson continues work on fuel-cell development by publishing papers while working pro-bono for a number of organisations and universities. Citing his experiences with Cenergie, he now writes and campaigns for greater scrutiny of UK money-laundering activities and industrial espionage. His first political philosophy, titled "Factions and Pyramids" is set to be released in 2012.


In 1970, Abson returned to Britain and launched Freerange Sound Studios using funds earned from documentaries. He worked with the British Film Institute on productions including The Stonemen and The Earthmovers, which document St. Paul's Cathedral's masons and the reclamation of Britain's largest coal tip (respectively).

Abson went on to make many music concert films during the 1970s, starting with Dr. Feelgood's Going Back Home and ending with the Ramones' New Year's Concert. He pioneered music videos with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Kate Bush, The Damned, Queen and Lena Lovitch while Covent Garden's Freerange recorded Gary Numan, The Sex Pistols, Patti Smith and The Slits, supporting musicians by subsidizing them with film profits.

In 1979, he closed Freerange to pursue careers outside of the music industry after his longtime business partner Neville Wills who died 1981, following health issues[12][13] (aged 36). Wills was also a member of the band The Konrads[14] alongside David Bowie.

Music videos[edit]

Concert films[edit]

Television career[edit]

Abson's strong political and social interests led him to television with current affairs programs such as Left, Right and Centre, Public Eye, and The World This Week. He later went on to direct light entertainment programs like Krypton Factor, Countdown,[15] Catchphrase and Fraggle Rock. His interest in science led to series such as Where's There's Life, Discovery, Fun and Games, The Haley Comet Show and Real World. Between 1980 and 1990, he directed more than 2,000 network shows.

Television programs[edit]



  1. ^ Vandenbroeck, H; Adriansen, L; Alfenaar, M; Beekman, A; Blanchart, A; Vanbogaert, G; Vanneste, G. "Status of ELENCO's alkaline fuel cell development". International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 11 (7): 471–474. doi:10.1016/0360-3199(86)90068-6.
  2. ^ Reidy], [author, Graham Weaver ; programme editor, Roisin (2002). World fuel cells an industry profile with market prospects to 2010. Oxford: Elsevier Advanced Technology. ISBN 1-85617-397-6.
  3. ^ Motavalli, Jim (2014-10-14). Forward Drive: The Race to Build the Clean Car of the Future. Routledge. ISBN 9781136534102.
  4. ^ "Space-age cabs". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  5. ^ "ZEVCO: Taxi (1998) | H2-Mobility | netinform". Retrieved 2015-09-16.
  6. ^ Author, System. "Hydrogen and fuel-cells – the latest". Engineering News Online. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Hydrogen Mirror 2/01". Retrieved 2015-09-16.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Walli, Ron. "UK's ZeTek, ORNL technology Tennessee-bound". Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  9. ^ Walli, Ron. "UK's ZeTek, ORNL technology Tennessee-bound". EurekAlert. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  10. ^ Lyne, Jack. "ZeTek's". Site Selection -- Online Insider. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  11. ^ Fagan, Mary (21 October 2001). "Zetek braces itself for receivership". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  12. ^ Mendick, Robert (January 15, 2016). "David Bowie: how a broken pint glass in a Blackheath pub changed the course of music history". David Bowie: how a broken pint glass in a Blackheath pub changed the course of music history. The Telegraph. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  13. ^ Porter, Monica (May 7, 2016). "Missing..." Scottish Daily Mail. Retrieved July 12, 2016 – via
  14. ^ Aram, Vicky (2011). The Coal Mines Confessions and Dance Halls. United States of America: AuthorHouse. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-4567-7062-4 – via
  15. ^ a b "imdb Nick Abson profile". imdb. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  16. ^ Hoyles, Celia (1990). thumbnail * Enlarge Image Mathematics in Prime-Time Television: The Story of Fun and Games. Cambridge University Press. pp. 124–135. ISBN 978-0-521-40319-1.
  17. ^ "The Stonemen of St. Paul's". British Film Institute. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  18. ^ "Earth Movers". British Film Institute. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  19. ^ "Going Back Home". British Film Institute. Retrieved 26 November 2011.

External links[edit]

Fuel cell firsts[edit]

Interviews and clips on fuel cells[edit]