Peter Tinniswood

Peter Tinniswood

Peter Tinniswood (December 21, 1936January 9, 2003) was an English radio and TV comedy scriptwriter, and author of a series of popular cricketing novels. He was born in Liverpool, but grew up above a dry cleaner's on Eastway in Sale, Greater Manchester.

Television and radio work

1964 saw Peter collaborate with long-term writing partner David Nobbs on the BBC comedy "Lance At Large", starring Lance Percival. This was an innovative attempt to update the sitcom formula, as Percival's character Alan Day, was involved in different scenarios and meeting different people in each episode.

The short-lived ITV series "Never Say Die" (1970) drew upon Peter's days as a hospital porter, and was set in Victoria Memorial and focused on the comedy created between the patients and the staff. It starred Reginald Marsh and Patrick Newell.

Perhaps Peter's best known comedy was 1975's "I Didn't Know You Cared" featuring the Brandons, a dour northern family. Adapted from his novels for the BBC, this programme ran until 1979, and featured Liz Smith, Robin Bailey, John Comer and a young Stephen Rea.

In 1980 the BBC produced a series based on other Tinniswood books, featuring the character of The Brigadier, an erstwhile cricketer and slightly over-the-top raconteur, played by Robin Bailey. Some of these stories were also adapted for BBC Radio 4. The series was also remade in 1985 for Channel 4.

For ITV in 1983 Tinniswood wrote "The Home Front", again set in the north of England. It starred Brenda Bruce as Mrs Place, a nosey, arrogant mother who lorded it over her three children. Two years later ITV also produced "Mog", based on Peter's 1970 novel and starring Enn Reitel as the titular character. This had episodes written by Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement, but it was not a success. Also in 1985 was "South Of The Border", starring Brian Glover as Edgar Rowley, a Yorkshireman forced to migrate to the south of England.

In later years Tinniswood's output was mostly for Radio 4 and included the continuing adventures of Uncle Mort and Carter Brandon in "Uncle Mort's North Country", "Uncle Mort's South Country" and "Uncle Mort's Celtic Fringe" and a continuing series about poacher Winston Hayballs, his "bit of fluff" Nancy and her familly originally adapated from his novel "Winston". Liz Goulding, his second wife, played Rosie.

A lifelong pipe smoker, Peter Tinniswood died of throat cancer, at the age of 67.

TV credits

* That Was The Week That Was (1962)
* "The Dick Emery Show" (1963)
* "Lance At Large" (1964)
* "The Frost Report" (1966)
* "Roy Hudd" (1970)
* "Never Say Die" (1970)
* "I Didn't Know You Cared" (1975)
* "Tales From A Long Room" (1980) (BBC)
* "The Home Front" (1983)
* "Mog" (1985)
* "South Of The Border" (1985)
* "Tales From A Long Room" (1985) (Channel 4)
* "Duck Patrol" (1998)


* "A Touch Of Daniel" (1969 Winner of Best First Novel of the Year award and Book of the Month choice)
* "Mog" (1970)
* "I Didn't Know You Cared" (1973)
* "Except You're A Bird" (1974 Winner of Royal Society of Literature Winifred Holtby award)
* "Shemerelda" (1984)
* "Call it a Canary" (1985)
* "Winston" (?)
* "Dolly's War" (?)
* "Witney Scrotum"
* "Hayballs"




Radio credits

1964 Hardluck Hall (6 x 30m, series of comedy plays)
1973 Sam's Wedding (aft)
1980 A Gifted Child (aft)
1981 An Occasional Day* (aft)
1981 Stoker Leishman's Diaries* (snt)
1981 The Siege
1981 The Bargeman's Comfort
1987 A Touch Of Daniel* (snt)
1987 The Village Fete* rpt. 1988 (snt)
1989 Call It A Canary* (snt)
1989 Uncle Mort's North Country* (series)
1990 A Small Union
1991 Uncle Mort's South Country *(series)
1992 Tales from the Brigadier
1992 Two into Three*
1993 The Governor's Consort* (for M.Wimbush) R3
1995 Pen Pals*
1996 Uncle Mort's Celtic Fringe* (series)
1997 Secret life of the Shed *-feature on shed life-with P.Tinniswood
1997 Batteries not included*-feature on batteries-with P.Tinniswood
1998 The Last Obituary *(for Billie Whitelaw;m),rpt 1999
1998 Visiting Julia:6-episode comedy drama series
1998 Next time we might play better*
1998 The wireless lady
1998 On the whole it's been jolly good* (for M.Denham;m),rpt.1999
1998 Verona- a conspiracy of parrots *(for Stephanie Cole;m),rpt 1999
1998 A very rare bird indeed
1999 The House Swap
1999 The Scan
2000 Dorothy, a Manager's wife*
2000 Age Gap
2000 The Packer
2000 Admiral of the night
2000 Monument (E. de Filippo), dram.
2001 The Duvet Lady *(Billie Whitelaw monologue)
2001 Mr. Reliable*
2001 Tales from the backbench (series 1, 4 episodes)
2001 On the train from Chemnitz*
2001 Tales from the Backbench (series 2, 4 episodes)
2002 On the whole it's been jolly good, rpt again
2002 The Air Raid*
2002 Anton in Eastbourne* (for Paul Scofield)
2003 The Goalkeeper's Boo-Boo
snt = Saturday night theatre; aft = afternoon theatre, m = monologue

SERIALS (numbers show no. of episodes)

Home Again 6
R4 2.6.1980- 7.7.1980 Robin Bailey/Doreen Mantle/Liz Goulding/David Troughton/Christopher Benjamin
Uncle Mort's North Country* 5
R4 21.7.1988 -18.8.1988 Stephen Thorne/Peter Skellern/Christian Rodska
Winston 6
R4 26.4.1989- 31.5.1989 Maurice Denham/Christian Rodska/Shirley Dixon/Liz Goulding/Bill Wallis
Winston Comes To Town 6
R4 1.1.1990- 5.2.1990 Maurice Denham/Shirley Dixon/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska/Bill Wallis
Uncle Mort's South Country* - Series 1 5
R4 12.7.1990 9.8.1990 Stephen Thorne/Sam Kelly/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska
Uncle Mort's South Country - Series 2 5
R4 27.10.1990 -24.11.1990 Stephen Thorne/Sam Kelly/Liz Goulding/Christopher Good/Christian Rodska
Winston In Love 6
R4 31.12.1990 -4.2.1991 Shirley Dixon/Bill Wallis/Maurice Denham/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska
Winston In Europe 6
R4 12.3.1992 -16.4.1992 Shirley Dixon/Maurice Denham/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska/Bill Wallis
Winston Back Home 6
R4 31.3.1994 -5.5.1994 Shirley Dixon/Maurice Denham/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska/Bill Wallis
Uncle Mort's Celtic Fringe* 5
R4 12.2.1996 -11.3.1996 Stephen Thorne/Sam Kelly/Christian Rodska/Liz Goulding


External links

* [ Peter Tinniswood at IMDB] - list of TV writing credits.
* [ BBC Guide to Comedy] - information about shows Peter Tinniswood has contributed to.
* [ News of death (BBC)]

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