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Early life and career
Thompson was born in Redditch, Worcestershire and grew up in Ontario, after his parents emigrated to Canada. He studied drama at York University and embarked upon a successful career in the music industry as both a songwriter and musician. His groups include a Canadian duo called Stillwater, and his school band The Avengers, which evolved into Edison Lighthouse, who had the number one record "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)".
With the BBC
Thompson published a novel in 1979, The Number to Call Is... before becoming a script consultant for various producers. His television writing credits include Squadron and the iconic Howards' Way, which ran for six years and was considered to be one the BBC's most loved drama series, drawing huge ratings. He acquired the position of Head of Development for BBC Television Drama Series and worked on many other titles, including Bergerac and The House of Eliott.
In 1994 and in association with the Sanctuary Group PLC, Thompson founded his own production company, the Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment Group, which has since specialized in family entertainment. The company trades through offices in London, Wellington (New Zealand), and has expanded into the Australian market. Southern Star currently distribute the substantial back catalogue.
Since 1994, Thompson has created and produced several television series and movies, including The Enid Blyton Adventure Series, The Enid Blyton Secret Series, The Adventures of Swiss Family Robinson (starring Richard Thomas), Return to Treasure Island, The Legend of William Tell (created by Thompson), William Shatner's A Twist in the Tale (also created by Thompson). Other series Thompson created include Atlantis High, Revelations – The Initial Journey, and The New Tomorrow.
Perhaps his best known creation is the teen drama/sci-fi hybrid The Tribe, which has become a cult classic around the world and ran for five years with almost three hundred episodes being produced. The series is constantly being repeated and has a fanatical fan base.
In 2001, he returned to his music roots and composed the soundtracks of Cloud 9's portfolio, as well as the Spirit Symphony, which was partly inspired by his Asperger syndrome. It was performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and released on CD in 2004. The proceeds of the song "With You Every Step of the Way" (also composed by Raymond) were donated to the foundation.
He has been a juror at BAFTA and the International Emmy Awards. In 2003, he was appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to television. In the same year he also received an Honours Award at Dragon*Con.
Thompson has Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum condition. Thompson's son was also diagnosed. Thompson founded the Cloud 9's Children Foundation, which aims to support families in Oceania affected by Asperger syndrome.
Thompson is currently focusing on his screenwriting activities and is developing a portfolio of motion pictures which he hopes to produce.
- "Raymond Thompson Writer, Producer". NZ ON SCREEN. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "The Tribe migrates to big screen". The Dominion Post. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "NEW YEAR HONOURS LIST 2003". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- McNary, Dave (21 December 2015). "Raymond Thompson's Cloud 9 Teams With Indus Media's $100 Million Fund". Variety. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
- "Tirohana Estate". regionalbusinesstalk.com. Retrieved 24 March 2017.