'Z-Cars' writer dies of cancer

One of the writers of the classic BBC police series Z-Cars died yesterday at the age of 75.

Alan Plater, who won multiple awards for his work on stage and screen, had cancer.

His other television work included The Beiderbecke Affair, Fortunes Of War, Last Of The Blonde Bombshells, The Barchester Chronicles, A Very British Coup and Lewis, during a career spanning half a century.

Plater had almost 300 assorted credits in radio, television, theatre and films to his name, as well as six novels. During his career he received awards from Bafta, the Broadcasting Press Guild and the Royal Television Society as well as an international Emmy.

Born in Jarrow and brought up in Hull, he was admitted to the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead, north London, earlier this week.

His first plays were written for radio. The Journal Of Vasilije Bogdanovic scooped the 1983 Sony Radio Award, and a short story written for Bernard Cribbins to perform was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 over Christmas in 2007.

His TV career began with a string of single plays as well as contributions to the Z-Cars series, and his work in the theatre included the 1968 musical Close The Coalhouse Door.

His first film for the big screen was The Virgin And The Gypsy, adapted from DH Lawrence's novel, and he also wrote a screenplay for George Orwell's Keep The Aspidistra Flying.