Gerard Glaister

John Leslie "Gerard" Glaister DFC (sometimes Gerrard) (21 December 1915[1] – 5 February 2005)[2][3] was a British television producer and director best known for his work with the BBC. Amongst his most notable successes as a producer were Colditz, The Brothers,[4] Secret Army and Howards' Way.

After studying at RADA, Glaister made his West End debut in 1939. With the outbreak of war, he joined the Royal Air Force, commissioned as Pilot Officer on 8 September 1939 and initially flying a Blenheim bomber. He later served as a photo reconnaissance pilot in 208 Squadron RAF in the Western Desert, initially flying Westland Lysanders. It was during these latter duties that he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 6 October 1942, for a hazardous reconnaissance flight in an unarmed Hurricane at extremely low level across the Italian front line. He rose to the rank of Squadron Leader and retired from the RAF on 5 August 1952 (for medical reasons).[5] Glaister later drew on his RAF experiences when, in 1963, he produced Moonstrike, a drama about an RAF squadron which ferried agents in and out of occupied Europe in Westland Lysanders. From 1962, he worked on the popular Dr Finlay's Casebook.[1] His 1968 production The Expert is based on the work of his uncle, forensic scientist Prof John Glaister FRSE.[6]

Glaister's success ended with the 1991 series Trainer,[1] which was moved from prime time to a weeknight slot because of its perceived failure. However, it sold well overseas.[7]

Glaister was married three times and had three daughters, two from his final marriage, to Joan.[1]



  1. ^ a b c d "Gerard Glaister". The Guardian. 24 February 2005. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ London Gazette, various editions 1939-1952
  3. ^ Harris M. Lentz III (24 October 2008). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2005: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-7864-5210-1.
  4. ^ Paul Cornell; Martin Day; Keith Topping (1996). The Guinness Book of Classic British TV. Guinness. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-85112-628-9.
  5. ^ London Gazette, various editions 1939 to 1952
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Rhys Williams & David Lister (1 March 1999). "Eldorado for the BBC as the world pays a fortune to watch its flops". The Independent. Retrieved 16 March 2019.

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