Tony Cliff: BBC radio producer
Tony Cliff was a BBC Radio producer who found, nurtured and launched many a budding writer. Tony was the perfect person to act as mentor, confidante and friend to a host of hopefuls, including we four who, along with many others, owe him a great deal.
Tony was born on 10 June 1941, three hours before his father was reported missing in action. After graduating from Cambridge he became a journalist on the Sheffield Telegraph before joining the BBC as a trainee television producer in London. He spent some time at Granada TV before moving to BBC Radio Drama.
In the mid-1970s, when Alfred Bradley had already established a small but impressive radio drama centre in Leeds, Tony was appointed as his deputy, replacing Alan Ayckbourn. BBC Leeds already had its share of talent, with Peter Tinniswood, Brian Thompson and Stan Barstow regular contributors, and although Tony continued to work with these established names, he also set out to encourage an amazing number of talented writers, local and mostly unknown. When the department moved to Manchester he continued his search.
Writers loved working for Tony. He would never ask for a heart-breaking rewrite or change the timbre of a piece – he trusted you to get it right, and rarely imposed restrictions. Using mostly local actors he developed a department that was relaxing and a joy to work in, bringing like minds together and encouraging them into joint projects for both radio and television. He was a gentle director of actors, believing it was all about getting the casting right from the start. A favourite note to an actor was "Shall we try that again with your cardigan off?"
Many of us lucky enough to meet and work with him owe our success and livings to his unswerving dedication to our work and progress. Without Tony's unobtrusive fostering of scripts the world of radio and television would have been robbed of many of its most successful writers. Tony was diagnosed with cancer in October 2011 and died on 3 February 2012, and is survived by his wife, Chris, his children, John and Judy and stepchildren, Jim, Jessica and Reuben.
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 Watch: Man takes selfie every mile of 2,600 mile hike, creates amazing timelapse video
- 4 The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings plane crash: Andreas Lubitz 'had eyesight problems' and woke from nightmares 'screaming we’re going down'
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...