Allan Scott (Scottish screenwriter)

Allan Shiach[1] who writes under the pseudonym Allan Scott, is a Scottish screenwriter and producer, and former Scotch whisky executive. He was nominated for BAFTA's Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film and a Genie Award for his 1997 film Regeneration. He has won the Edgar Award (1976) and Writers' Guild Award (1978).

Allan Scott
Allan Shiach

Elgin, Moray, Scotland
OccupationScreenwriter and producer
Years active1970–present


Early lifeEdit

Allan Scott was born in Elgin, Moray, and educated at Gordonstoun School and McGill University, Montreal, where he obtained a BA in English Literature. After training in the Scotch whisky industry, he worked as a writer for television both in the US and the UK during the seventies while also serving as a non-executive director of Macallan-Glenlivet plc.[2]


He became chairman and chief executive of Macallan-Glenlivet in the late '70s, a role he held until 1996, during which period the company's market capitalization on the London Stock Exchange grew some two hundredfold, its reputation for innovative and focused marketing and management helping to establish a highly successful international brand of malt whisky.

He served for several years on the Broadcasting Council of BBC Scotland and in 1986 succeeded Sir Denis Forman as Chairman of the Scottish Film Production Fund. His subsequent Chairmanship of the Scottish Film Council lasted for six years and following upon that body's initiative to create a new, broadly-based organisation for the Scottish screen industries, comprising the Film Archive, Media Education, Exhibition, Screen Locations and Production Fund; he was appointed Chairman of the new organisation named Scottish Screen. Having chaired the Interim Board which supervised the transition and consolidation, he remained as chairman for a further year before stepping down in 1998, after twelve years of involvement with Scotland's film making bodies.

While continuing his career as a screenwriter and producer, he was also a director of both Caledonian Newspapers and Scottish Television plc and when the companies merged, to form SMG plc, he remained on the board for thirteen years. He was appointed a Governor of The British Film Institute in 1992 and served that Board for some six years. He is also a former Chairman of The Writers' Guild of Great Britain, thus perhaps the only person ever to chair a trades union and a Stock Exchange company at the same time.

He was Executive Producer of the thriller Shallow Grave (1994). He also wrote and produced the BAFTA-nominated film, Regeneration (1997) as well as The Fourth Angel (2001). He has written or co-written more than a dozen films, including The Awakening (with Chris Bryant, 1980) and five films directed by Nicolas Roeg: Don't Look Now (with Chris Bryant, 1973), Castaway (1986), The Witches (1990), Cold Heaven (1991) and Two Deaths (1995). He was also co-writer of The Preacher's Wife (1996) and In Love and War (1996). Scott was co-writer and script consultant on the Norwegian film Kon-Tiki (2012) which was nominated for an Oscar in 2013 in the foreign language category.

He is the originator, co-producer and co-writer of the stage musical adaptation of the 1990s film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert which opened in Sydney in October 2006 and has since become the most successful Australian stage musical of all time. Productions in over 30 cities have grossed a sum approaching half a billion dollars. The London production of the show ran for three years before it was launched in North America, beginning in Toronto prior to Broadway, where it was nominated for two Tony Awards. Other productions are being presented regularly in major centres around the world. It is the winner of 5 Australian Green Room Awards, an Olivier Award and the What's On Stage Award for Best New Musical, a Tony Award in the US, and in Canada 6 Broadway World awards and the Toronto Theatre Critics Award. In Italy it has won 4 DAPA Awards and in Argentina 7 awards. It has also won 12 Hugo Awards including Best Musical and 10 awards in Spain. In France it won a Best Musical Cristal Award.

He is currently preparing a production of The Conjuror (co-written with David Ambrose), to be directed by Des McAnuff. Also, The Garden of the Black Martini (co-written with Allison Burnett), as well as two new musical. He is producing and co-writing The Queen's Gambit, adapted from the Walter Tevis novel, for Netflix. This is co-written and to be directed by Scott Frank.

Awarded honorary doctorates by Napier University, Edinburgh (2007) and by Aberdeen University (2008).


  1. ^ Rob Sharp and Allan Shiach (18 March 2008). "Heath Ledger–A Prophetic Tragedy". The Independent. (Arts: Entertainment: Film and TV: Features). Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  2. ^ "Former whisky boss in bottle sale". BBC News. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2018.

External linksEdit