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Ian Bayley Curteis (born 1 May 1935) is a British dramatist and former television director.

Curteis was born in London, and began his career as an actor, joining Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop in the mid-1950s, and later working in this profession in regional theatres, and as a stage director or producer. His career in television began as a script reader for both the BBC and Granada Television. Curteis joined the staff of the BBC as a trainee director in 1964.[1] The Projected Man (1966), which he directed, is his only cinema film.[2] Around the same time Curteis directed an episode of the BBC2 anthology series, Out of the Unknown, William Trevor's "Walk's End". Both projects had a problematic production; Curteis has disputed the claims of the producers of both.[1]

Switching to a career as a television dramatist from the late 1960s onwards, Curteis wrote for many series of the time, including The Onedin Line and Crown Court. Meanwhile, Curteis was writing television plays - he prefers the term over "drama documentaries" - with historical themes. Philby, Burgess and Maclean was commissioned by Granada, and broadcast in 1977. In autumn 1979 came Churchill and the Generals, Suez 1956, and the 8-part series Prince Regent, about George IV.[1] Lost Empires, a television adaptation of J. B. Priestley's novel followed in 1986.

The Falklands Play, originally scheduled for production in 1985, was eventually broadcast in 2002. At the time production was cancelled, Curteis blamed a "liberal conspiracy" at the BBC. A BBC commission for a dramatisation of the Yalta Conference in 1945 was cancelled in 1995, Curteis alleged, because of his politically conservative presentation of events.[2] A stage play, The Bargain (2007), dealing with a fictionalised account of the meeting between Robert Maxwell and Mother Teresa in 1988 was adapted for BBC Radio in 2016.[3][4]

Curteis is divorced from his first wife, Dorothy Curteis, and his second, the novelist Joanna Trollope. His third wife is Lady Deirdre Hare, daughter of William Hare, 5th Earl of Listowel: together they have restored their home Markenfield Hall.[5]



  1. ^ a b c Wake, Oliver (2015). "Ian Curteis: Television career overview". British Television Drama. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b Wake, Oliver (2003–14). "Curteis, Ian (1935–)". BFI screenonline. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  3. ^ Gardner, Lyn (26 March 2007). "The Bargain, Theatre Royal Bath". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  4. ^ "The Bargain". BBC Radio. September 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Medieval hall that spent 400 years as a barn brought back to life". Daily Telegraph. 24 Aug 2008.

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