Friday, 30 July 2021

Piers Plowright

 This morning on Radio 3, there was an affectionate tribute to the doyen of radio producers, Piers Plowright, who died on Friday, aged 83. He was the ultimate radio man, doing great work in every genre from soap (Waggoners' Walk) to high-art features, and deservedly winning every award going. He was fortunate to be working when the radio landscape was a much richer and more varied terrain than it is now. He was also one of the nicest men I came across in my years in (or on the edges of) the radio world. He produced my one and only broadcast radio piece – a short dramatised feature on  the 'poisoner and critic' Thomas Griffiths Wainewright – and it was a pleasure (and indeed an honour) to work with him. The feature went out on Radio 3 in, I think, 1993 or 4, with Alex Jennings as Wainewright.
Before that, I had tried to interest publishers in a partly fictionalised biography of Wainewright (a man whose strange career fascinated Oscar Wilde and Thomas de Quincey, among others). Some years after my radio feature went out, Andrew Motion published an 'experimental biography', Wainewright the Poisoner, which I did not read. It would probably have annoyed me too much.   


  1. Hector Cruickshanks15 August 2021 at 01:05

    Do you have a transcript or recording of your radio piece? I would love to hear/read it.