|Born||Andrew Wynford Davies|
20 September 1936
Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales
|Occupation||Writer (TV and print)|
|Alma mater||University College, London|
|Period||ca. 1964–present (as writer)|
|Genre||Audio and screenplays, novels|
|Notable awards||Guardian Prize |
|Spouse||Diana Huntley (1960–present)|
Andrew Wynford Davies ( // ; born 20 September 1936) is a Welsh writer of screenplays and novels, best known for House of Cards and A Very Peculiar Practice , and his adaptations of Vanity Fair , Pride and Prejudice , Middlemarch , Bleak House and War & Peace . He was made a BAFTA Fellow in 2002.
Davies was born in Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales. He attended Whitchurch Grammar School in Cardiff and then University College, London, where he received a BA in English in 1957. He took a teaching position at St. Clement Danes Grammar School in London, where he was on the teaching staff from 1958–61. He held a similar post at Woodberry Down Comprehensive School in Hackney, London from 1961–63. Following that, he was a lecturer in English at Coventry College of Education (which later merged with the University of Warwick to become the Faculty of Educational Studies and later the Warwick Institute of Education), and then at the University of Warwick.
In 1960, Davies contributed material to the BBC Home Service's Monday Night at Home strand, alongside Harold Pinter and Ivor Cutler. He wrote his first play for radio in 1964 and many more were to follow. In 1960, he married Diana Huntley; the couple have a son and daughter. He is resident in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.[ citation needed ]
Davies' first television play, Who's Going to Take Me On? , was broadcast in 1967 as part of BBC1's The Wednesday Play strand. His early plays were written as a sideline to his work in education, many of them appearing in anthology series such as Thirty Minute Theatre, Play for Today and Centre Stage. One of his London stage plays, Rose, played on Broadway in 1981, with Glenda Jackson and Jessica Tandy. His first serial adaptation of a work of fiction was of To Serve Them All My Days (1980), from the novel by R. F. Delderfield. He wrote A Very Peculiar Practice (1986–88), a campus based comedy-drama series that drew upon his career in education.
He is now best known for his adaptations of classic works of literature for television including Pride and Prejudice (1995) starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, Vanity Fair (1998), Bleak House (2005) and Sense and Sensibility (2008). He is the writer of the screenplays for the BBC production Middlemarch (1994) and a planned film of the same name once announced for 2011 release.
Davies also co-devised with Bernadette Davis the sitcom Game On for BBC2 and co-wrote the first two series broadcast in 1995 and 1996. The popularity of his adaptation of Michael Dobbs's political thriller House of Cards was a significant influence in Dobbs's decision to write two sequels, which Davies also adapted for television. In film, he has collaborated on the screenplays for the first two Bridget Jones films, based on Helen Fielding novels.
He is a prolific writer for children. The first of his novels was Conrad's War, published by Blackie in 1978. Davies won the annual Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, which is judged by a panel of British children's writers and recognises the best book by an author who has not yet won it.He has written Alfonso Bonzo (book and television series) and the adventures of Marmalade Atkins (television series and numerous books). He also wrote the stories Dark Towers and Badger Girl for BBC TV's Look and Read programmes for schools audiences.
2008 saw the release of his adaptations of the 1999 novel Affinity by Sarah Waters, Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited (a film), Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit (a BBC series). Little Dorrit won seven of eleven Emmy nominations and earned Davies an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries.
Adaptations of Dombey and Son , one of Dickens' lesser-read works and Anthony Trollope's Palliser novels were scrapped by the BBC in late 2009, following a move away from "bonnet dramas".
ITV was looking to recreate its period drama success with Downton Abbey with a new series Mr Selfridge , written by Davies and starring Jeremy Piven.An initial ten-part series first aired on 6 January 2013 and it has run for 4 series by 2016.
Davies' six-part adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's War & Peace was broadcast on BBC One in January and February 2016.Following its success, the BBC announced in July 2016 that it would be followed up with a six-part adaptation of Victor Hugo's Les Misérables to be scripted by Davies. In May 2017, it was announced that BBC will adapt Vikram Seth's magnum opus A Suitable Boy into an eight-part series to be scripted by Davies.
In May 2018, he announced at the Hay Festival that he is adapting John Updike's Rabbit, Run for television.
Television series and serials
Andrew and Diana Davies have written at least two children's picture books.
Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. It follows, from the 1920s to the early 1940s, the life and romances of the protagonist Charles Ryder, most especially his friendship with the Flytes, a family of wealthy English Catholics who live in a palatial mansion called Brideshead Castle. Ryder has relationships with two of the Flytes: Sebastian and Julia. The novel explores themes including nostalgia for the age of English aristocracy, Catholicism, and the nearly overt homosexuality of Sebastian Flyte's eccentric friends at Oxford University. A faithful and well-received television adaptation of the novel was produced in an 11-part miniseries by Granada Television in 1981.
A Very Peculiar Practice is a surreal black-comedy drama set in the health centre of a British university, produced by the BBC, which ran for two series in 1986 and 1988. The two series were followed by a 90-minute made-for-television film, A Very Polish Practice (1992), following some of the characters to a new setting in Poland.
Pride and Prejudice is a six-episode 1995 British television drama, adapted by Andrew Davies from Jane Austen's 1813 novel of the same name. Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth starred as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy respectively. Produced by Sue Birtwistle and directed by Simon Langton, the serial was a BBC production with additional funding from the American A&E Network. BBC1 originally broadcast the 55-minute episodes from 24 September to 29 October 1995. The A&E Network aired the series in double episodes on three consecutive nights beginning 14 January 1996.
Matthew William Goode is an English actor. He made his screen debut in 2002 with ABC's TV film feature Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. His breakthrough role was in the romantic comedy Chasing Liberty (2004), for which he received a nomination at Teen Choice Awards for Choice Breakout Movie Star – Male. He then appeared in a string of supporting roles in films like Woody Allen's Match Point (2005), the German-British romantic comedy Imagine Me and You (2006), and the period drama Copying Beethoven (2006). He won praise for his performance as Charles Ryder in Julian Jarrold's adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited (2008), and as Ozymandias in the American neo-noir superhero film Watchmen (2009), based on DC Comics' limited series of the same name. He then starred in romantic comedy Leap Year (2010) and Australian drama Burning Man (2011), the latter earning him a nomination for Best Actor at the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards.
James Edward Fleet is a British actor. He is most famous for his roles as the bumbling and well-meaning Tom in the 1994 British romantic comedy film Four Weddings and a Funeral and the dim-witted but kind Hugo Horton in the BBC sitcom television series The Vicar of Dibley.
Patrick Gerald Duggan, known professionally as Patrick Malahide, is a veteran British actor, author and producer, known for his roles as Inspector Alleyn in The Inspector Alleyn Mysteries, Detective Sergeant Albert Chisholm in the TV series Minder, Balon Greyjoy in the TV series Game of Thrones as well as the big screen in a number of international films
James Hawes is a British television director. He has worked in British television drama since the mid-1990s, and has also produced documentaries for British and American television networks. His work has ranged across high-end period pieces and prime-time adventure drama, including the re-launch of Doctor Who and Enid, a biopic starring Helena Bonham Carter about the celebrated children's author Enid Blyton, which won Hawes a BAFTA nomination as Best Director at the 2010 ceremony.
Ken Riddington was a British television producer, who worked predominantly in BBC television drama from the 1970s onwards.
Ronald G. Cook is an English actor who has been active in the theatre, film and television since the 1970s. He was born in South Shields, County Durham, England, and is a graduate of Rose Bruford College. Cook moved to Coventry with his family when he was six. The son of a school cook and a car worker, he went to Wyken Croft Junior School and then Caludon Castle School.
A Suitable Boy is a novel by Vikram Seth, published in 1993. With 1,349 pages, the English–language book is one of the longest novels published in a single volume.
Tipping the Velvet is a 2002 BBC television drama serial based on the best-selling 1998 debut novel of the same name by Sarah Waters. It originally screened in three episodes on BBC Two and was produced for the BBC by the independent production company Sally Head Productions. It stars Rachael Stirling, Keeley Hawes, and Jodhi May.
Brideshead Revisited is a 1981 British television serial starring Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews. It was produced by Granada Television for broadcast by the ITV network. Most of the serial was directed by Charles Sturridge; a few sequences were directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.
Brideshead Revisited is a 2008 British drama film directed by Julian Jarrold. The screenplay by Jeremy Brock and Andrew Davies is based on the 1945 novel of the same name by Evelyn Waugh, which previously had been adapted in 1981 as the television serial Brideshead Revisited.
Little Dorrit is a 2008 British miniseries based on Charles Dickens's serial novel of the same title, originally published between 1855 and 1857. The screenplay is by Andrew Davies and the episodes were directed by Adam Smith, Dearbhla Walsh, and Diarmuid Lawrence.
Middlemarch is a 1994 television adaptation of the 1871 novel of the same name by George Eliot. Produced by the BBC on BBC2 in six episodes, it is the second such adaptation for television of the novel. It was directed by Anthony Page from a screenplay by Andrew Davies, and starred Juliet Aubrey, Rufus Sewell, Douglas Hodge and Patrick Malahide.
Jason Watkins is an English stage, film and television actor. He played the lead role in the two-part drama The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, for which he won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actor. He has also played William Herrick in Being Human, Gavin Strong in Trollied, Simon Harwood in W1A, Gordon Shakespeare in the film series Nativity, and British Prime Minister Harold Wilson in Season 3 of The Crown.
Middlemarch is a novel by George Eliot.
War & Peace is a historical drama television serial first broadcast on BBC One on 3 January 2016, produced by BBC Cymru Wales, in association with The Weinstein Company, Lookout Point and BBC Worldwide. It is a six-part adaptation of the 1869 novel War and Peace by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, written by Andrew Davies and directed by Tom Harper. War & Peace aired on A&E, Lifetime and History Channel in the United States as four two-hour episodes, beginning on 18 January 2016. The serial stars Paul Dano, Lily James and James Norton in the leading roles.
Ishaan Khatter is an Indian actor who works in Hindi films. The son of actors Rajesh Khattar and Neelima Azeem, he made his first screen appearance as a child in the 2005 film Vaah! Life Ho Toh Aisi!, which starred his half-brother Shahid Kapoor.
A Suitable Boy is a BBC television drama miniseries directed by Mira Nair and adapted by Andrew Davies from Vikram Seth's 1993 novel of the same name. Set in the backdrop of post-independent India, A Suitable Boy follows four linked families in North India, where the story revolves around Mrs. Rupa Mehra who is in search of a suitable husband for her youngest daughter Lata. Meanwhile, the daughter is torn between her duty towards her mother and the idea of romance with her suitors.
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