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Christopher Morahan CBE

Director, Producer, Chair of BAFTA (1966)
9 July 1929 to 7 April 2017

Trained at the Old Vic Theatre School, Morahan originally set out with the ambition to be an actor but decided to try his hand at directing instead. He subsequently proved his versatility across a wide range of films and popular television programmes. He is best known for his work on the acclaimed television series The Jewel In The Crown (1984) for which he won many plaudits including the Desmond Davis Award from BAFTA.

Morahan first got his directing break at ATV in 1957, later going freelance and finding work at the BBC as well as ITV. Early credits from this part of his career include Emergency Ward 10 (1957-59), Probation Officer (1959-60) and Z Cars (1962-64). He directed a BBC production of 1984 in 1965, and continued to do fine work in the Play for Today strand as well as directing Uncle Vanya (1970) and producing Pygmalion (1973).

In 1972 he became the BBC’s Head of Plays, in which post he remained for four years, later serving as an Associate of the National Theatre from 1977 to 1988. Although he frequently returned to the stage to flex his directing muscles he was occasionally active in film too, directing the caper movie Diamonds for Breakfast (1968), the hit John Cleese comedy Clockwise (1986) and the suspenseful medical drama Paper Mask (1990) among others.

He was busier on television though, bringing his talents to bear on Fathers & Families (1977), In The Secret State (1985), the award winning After Pilkington (1987), Troubles (1988), The Heat of the Day (1989), Can You Hear Me Thinking? (1990), Ashenden (1991), Unnatural Pursuits (1992), The Bullion Boys (1993), Element of a Doubt (1996), A Dance To The Music of Time (1997) and HR (2007). In 2011 he was awarded a CBE for his services to drama.

Read Christopher Morahan's Guardian obituary here