Friday 25 June 2010

Alan Plater RIP

Alan Plater, whose TV credits in a writing career spanning 50 years included The Beiderbecke Affair, Fortunes of War and A Very British Coup, has died, his agent confirmed to the BBC today.
Plater, 75, wrote novels and for film and theatre, but will be best remembered for a profilic body of television drama spanning six decades, starting with TV play The Referees for BBC North in 1961.
His final TV drama, Joe Maddison's War, starring Kevin Whately and Robson Green and set on the eve of the second world war in the north-east, where Plater was born, is currently in post-production for ITV.
Plater was born in Jarrow in 1935 and moved with his family as a young child to Hull, where he grew up.
He studied architecture at Newcastle University and worked for a short time in the profession before turning to a writing career.
In the 1960s and 1970s he wrote for BBC and ITV single drama strands including Play for Today, Armchair Theatre and The Wednesday Play, as well penning episodes of Z Cars and its spin-off, Softly Softly.
Plater will perhaps be best remembered for the period in the mid- to late 1980s when he created The Beiderbecke Affair – and its follow-ups The Beiderbecke Tapes and The Beiderbecke Connections – and adapted Olivia Manning's Fortunes of War novels and Chris Mullen's political thriller A Very British Coup for TV.
In the past 20 years Plater wrote episodes of dramas including Midsomer Murders, Dalziel and Pascoe and Lewis, as well as creating The Last of the Blonde Bombshells.
Plater's agent Alexandra Cann told the BBC that he had been "very robust" until the final week of his life when he was admitted to a London hospice.
Cann said Joe Maddison's War would be a "fitting tribute" to the writer, who saw the drama go into production.
Plater was awarded a CBE in 2005. In the same year he collected the Dennis Potter award for writing at the Baftas and two years later was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Writers' Guild of Great Britain.


  1. Saw him a few years ago at Beverley with Kenny Baker's Jazz Band. He was introducing the songs and reminiscing. His lugubrious delivery was a joy to listen to.