21 July 1957 |
Tony Jordan (born 21 July 1957) is a British television writer. He was listed as the number 1 television screen writer in the UK by Broadcast magazine (2008) and among British Broadcastings Top 20 in The Stage (2009)., He currently resides in Hertfordshire, UK.
For many years, he was lead writer and series consultant for BBC One soap opera EastEnders. Jordan had written for the programme since 1989 including the 2008 single-hander "Pretty Baby...." and is considered to be an 'elder statesman' of the show, for which he has written over 250 episodes as of 2006[update].
Beginning his career as a market trader, Jordan began writing at the age of thirty-two. He joined Eastenders after sending a spec script to the BBC about market traders, with a covering letter saying he had been born and raised in the East End of London. The BBC turned down the spec script, but gave him a job on EastEnders because of his apparent life experience. Afraid of what would happen if the producers found out that he was from the north, Jordan kept up the pretence of being a Londoner for five years. He had left school with no qualifications. For his work in EastEnders, he is particularly known for creating the Slater family along with then producer, John Yorke. Amongst significant episodes he scripted are those featuring the deaths of Arthur Fowler and Ethel Skinner; the "Sharongate" storyline; and more recently Kat's revelation to Zoe that she was her mother, the Andy-Kat-Alfie love triangle, and Dot's monologue. He was the first writer to do EastEnders when it began airing three times a week, when the siege at The Queen Victoria took place in 1994. He continued to work on EastEnders through a period which saw a reversal in its hitherto declining fortunes, with the programme winning the Most Popular Soap category at the National Television Awards in 2005. He wrote the first two episodes (broadcast on 24 and 25 October 2005) for the return of the characters of Phil and Grant Mitchell, popular characters he had originally helped to create back in 1989.
While on staff at EastEnders Jordan undertook a number of freelance projects. In early 2004, he created hit BBC One con artist drama Hustle. He also co-created the time travel / police drama Life on Mars, which began in 2006.
His other credits include; Boon (ITV), Minder (ITV), Trainer (BBC), Eldorado (BBC), Thief Takers (ITV), Where the Heart Is (ITV), City Central (BBC), April Fool's Day (ITV), Can't Buy Me Love (ITV), Vanishing Man (ITV), Perfectly Frank (BBC) Sunburn (BBC), HolbyBlue (BBC), Moving Wallpaper (ITV), Echo Beach (ITV).
In January 2007, Jordan's EastEnders departure was announced as it was his plan to concentrate on running his own new production company, Red Planet Pictures, backed by leading independent producer Kudos Film & Television. HolbyBlue, a new BBC One police drama, spun off from the channel's successful medical drama Holby City debuted in May 2007, quickly being recommissioned for a second run. Red Planet Pictures projects include medical drama "Crash" for BBC Wales and Jordan's critically acclaimed version of the Nativity story, filmed in Morocco and aired for the first time in the UK at Christmas in 2010 on BBC One.
He also created the shows of Moving Wallpaper and Echo Beach for ITV. The shows were linked to each other, the latter being a soap opera and the former being a sitcom about the production of that soap opera.
In 2007, Jordan was honoured for his work on EastEnders at the British Soap Awards with a "Special Achievement award". On 14 November 2007, it was announced that Jordan would be returning to EastEnders less than twelve months after quitting to write one final episode. Jordan subsequently wrote the script for Dot Branning's single-handed episode, broadcast on 31 January 2008 on BBC1.
In 2008, he worked on Hustle and zombie drama Renaissance, starring Kelly Brook and Alan Dale. As Head of Red Planet Pictures, he is also creating new formats[clarification needed] for the UK and US markets.
His latest work as a writer was The Nativity, a new BBC version of the nativity of Jesus story starring Peter Capaldi, broadcast in December 2010. Jordan states he had always had a faith but it was during this work that he became convinced that Jesus who was born in this way is the Son of God and that the Nativity story is a 'true story' and a 'thing of beauty'.
- "Tony Jordan". BBC Wales. 20 August 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2009.
- Jordan, Tony (2 December 2008). Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe [Television production]. London: BBC Four.
- "'Tony Jordan' returns to 'EastEnders'". Digital Spy. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 14 November 2007.
- Red Planet Prize, BBC Writer's Room, 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2011.
- Interview at the 2010 conference of the Church and Media Network.