Born in London on 12 December 1943, Richard Broke was educated at Eton but left school aged 17 to take his first job at the Oxford Playhouse. Broke’s time in repertory theatre was relatively short-lived, and he left after stints with the Chichester Festival and the London musical Blitz! to join the BBC as a trainee.
Broke worked on a range of programmes at the BBC, working his way up as a researcher and script editor before becoming a producer just a few years after he was tragically left paralysed following a car crash. He would go on to passionately campaign for disabled access in theatres including the National Theatre.
His big break as a producer came on Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years (1981), which he left the BBC to produce for Southern Television, and was nominated for a BAFTA TV Award in the Best Drama Series/Serial category.
He was again BAFTA-nominated in the Best Drama category for producing the controversial The Monocled Mutineer (1986), a four part serial about a First World War deserter played by Paul McGann which drew the ire of Conservative politicians including Norman Tebbit. Tumbledown (1988) was a similarly controversial project from Broke that sparked national debates on Britain’s military reputation, and won him the BAFTA for Best Single Drama.
Broke was a stalwart supporter of BAFTA, serving on Council and the Television Committee. In 1998 he also became the first Chair of the newly established Interactive Entertainment Awards.