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Michael Chaplin on the Chaplin (Michael) Archive

Michael Chaplin on the Chaplin (Michael) Archive

Collected Voices

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Michael Chaplin was born in 1951 in County Durham to Rene Chaplin and Sid Chaplin; a writer based in North East England. After graduating, he worked at The Journal in Newcastle as a trainee journalist, and was appointed the district reporter in Gateshead and the Durham, and the Health Correspondent.

In 1977, Michael moved to London where he worked in the current affairs and features department at London Weekend Television until 1987 when he moved to be the Head of Drama and Arts at Tyne-Tees Television. He then moved in 1991 to Head of Programmes for BBC Wales which he left in 1994 to become a full-time writer and producer. Since then he has written some 30 plays for Radio 4 including the series Two Pipe Problems and The Ferryhill Philosophers and various single plays like The Song Thief. His work for television includes the series Grafters, Dalziel and Pascoe and Monarch of the Glen and films like Just Henry.

His 30-year relationship with Newcastle’s Live Theatre encompasses In Blackberry Time (with Alan Plater) based on the life and work of Sid Chaplin, You Couldn’t Make It Up (with Tom Chaplin) about the travails of being a Newcastle United fan, and A Walk-On Part, based on the diaries of ex-Labour MP Chris Mullin.

His prose work includes Come and See - The Beguiling Story of the Tyneside Cinema, and Tyne View which arose out of his time as writer in residence for the Port of Tyne. The book then spawned the musical play Tyne which ran at Live Theatre, the Customs House in South Shields and Newcastle’s Theatre Royal.

On the impetus for wanting to be a writer

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Winning a short story competition with 'The Old Man'

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Writing for a student newspaper during University

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Working at The Journal as a journalist

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Working on South of Watford with Ben Elton

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Working collaboratively on tv series Dalziel and Pascoe

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Pitching the idea for the tv series Grafters

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Working with Alan Plater on In Blackberry Time for the Live Theatre, Newcastle

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The importance of Live Theatre, Newcastle

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