Stage and screen writer Alan Plater dies at 75

Vicky Shaw,Press Association
Friday 25 June 2010 14:41 BST

Award-winning screen and stage writer Alan Plater died today after battling cancer, his agent said.

His included Z Cars, The Beiderbecke Affair, Fortunes of War, Last of the Blonde Bombshells, Barchester Chronicles, A Very British Coup, and Lewis, during a career spanning half a century.

Plater, 75, has 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.

Plater's most recent television work was a recently-filmed ITV period drama titled Joe Maddison's War, starring Robson Green and Kevin Whately and set in Newcastle.

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

His agent Alexandra Cann described Plater, who lived in north London, as a "highly esteemed writer of television and plays".

Plater, who received the Dennis Potter Bafta Award in 2005, trained as an architect in Newcastle.

He explained last year why Joe Maddison's War meant so much to him, saying: "My family background is strictly Tyneside - the earlier generations worked in and around the shipyards, my favourite uncle was in the Home Guard, and my head is still full of family anecdotes from the period."

Plater's first plays were written for radio. The Journal of Vasilije Bogdanovic scooped the 1983 Sony Radio Award.

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.

Plater's work in the theatre includes the 1968 musical Close the Coalhouse Door.

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

Married to Shirley, and a grandfather, he was awarded the CBE in 2005 and received a lifetime achievement award from the Writers' Guild of Great Britain in 2007.

A Hull City fan he was president of the Writers' Guild from 1991 to 1995 and was awarded honorary degrees from the University of Hull, the University of Northumbria, the Open University and the University of Newcastle.

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