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Peter Jukes is an English author, screenwriter, playwright, literary critic and blogger.

Peter Jukes
Born(1960-10-13)13 October 1960
EducationQueens' College, Cambridge
Alma materAylesbury Grammar School
Years active1980s-present
Known forAuthor, screenwriter, playwright, literary critic and blogger

Early lifeEdit

Born in Swindon and attended Queens' College, Cambridge. His mother was an Armenian, and daughter of man fleeing the Armenian Genocide; she was later adopted by his grandfather.[1]


Jukes' television writing has mainly been in the genre of prime time thrillers or TV detective fiction, with 90-minute or two-hour long stories being broadcast by the BBC.

Jukes devised and wrote most of the three seasons of the BBC One prime time undercover thriller In Deep starring Nick Berry and Stephen Tompkinson;[2][3] two 90-minute film length episodes of the BBC One series The Inspector Lynley Mysteries;.[4][5] Burn Out, the two-hour first episode of the first season of the Emmy Award winning 'cold-case' series Waking the Dead;[6] achieved 8.4m viewers and a 38% share.[7] He and Ed Whitmore wrote the second series of the paranormal/science thriller Sea of Souls[8] which won the 2005 BAFTA Scotland Award[9] for Best Drama. Jukes' opening episode of the third season of Holby City[10] was described by The Guardian as the "televisual equivalent of Crack Cocaine."[11]

In October 2009, Jukes wrote a critical piece for Prospect magazine, contrasting the standards of UK television drama negatively with the standard of television dramas in America.[12] In the essay Why Can't Britain Do the Wire he argued that high quality drama in the UK had suffered from a concentration of commissioning power, the dominance of soaps (such as the twelfth series of Holby City), and the lack of show runners or writer producers that characterise US TV drama production.[13]


His radio credits include the original BBC Radio Soul Motel (2008)[14] (a drama taking place entirely in social networking space similar to Bebo or Facebook) and, with the comedian and actor Lenny Henry, the plays Bad Faith and Slavery: The Making of.[15] The latter formed part of the BBC's 2007 programming series to commemorate 200 years since Britain abolished the slave trade, "managed to extract maximum humour from the grimmest of subject matters."[16] by using the form of a semi-comic mockumentary. As The Spectator magazine explained: "Greg Wise plays the harassed producer trying to put together a drama for which Lenny Henry has provided sheafs of research printouts from the internet – but no script... 'Whose story is this?' demands Adrian Lester in an angry exchange with Brian Blessed. Were they in character? Or were they arguing for real?"[17]

In 2008, Lenny Henry starred in another "dark comedy" by Jukes[18] called Bad Faith: "Imagine the movie Bad Lieutenant transplanted to Birmingham, with Harvey Keitel's morally bankrupt copper replaced by Lenny Henry as a police chaplain who has lost his faith, and you have Peter Jukes's black comedy".[19] Paul Donovan of The Sunday Times called Bad Faith "the best radio drama I have heard in ages, and clearly destined to become a series....".[20] In February 2010 three further episodes were broadcast on BBC Radio 4.[21] to more positive reviews: "The scripts are strong, taut, bang up-to-the-minute, salted with ironic humour. (Lenny Henry's) performance is brilliant" according to Gillian Reynolds in The Daily Telegraph,[22] and according to The Stage:

"Jukes' writing is terrific – funny, deep, unafraid to move from the mundane to the reflective. Jake, his semi-heretical minister, is the most original creation of his kind that I can recall and Henry was born to play him.".[23]


Jukes's book A Shout in the Street was published by Faber and Faber in the UK in 1990, and by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and the University of California Press in the US.[24] This "unusual but addictive book" (according to The Washington Post[25]) is a series of essays and montages about modernity and city life, centred on London, Paris, Saint Petersburg and New York City. The Journal of Sociology compared the book favourably to the work of Jane Jacobs: "He is less shrill than Jacobs, more confident in his materials, and yet more sensitive and critical."[26] But it was the format of the book ("a courteously lucid deconstructionist text,which is part documentary lecture, part collage of quotations and photographs" according to The New Yorker[27]) which was commended by John Berger a "dream of a book" following the traditions of Walter Benjamin:

Benjamin dreamed of making a book entirely of quotations, and there have been some remarkable books which are creative responses to that idea, like Peter Jukes's A Shout in the Street.[28]

Following through in these themes of urbanism and city development Jukes also co-authored, along with Anna Whyatt, Stephen O'Brien and the sociologist Manuel Castells, the monograph Creative Capital: 21st Century Regions.[29]

Jukes is the author of The Fall of the House of Murdoch, published by Unbound, a crowd-funded publisher, in August 2012.[30]

Since 2016 Peter Jukes collaborates with Deeivya Meir on the podcast series Untold - The Daniel Morgan Murder.[31]


Jukes's early theatre work debuted at Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre: Abel Barebone and the Humble Company (1987) and Shadowing the Conqueror (1988).[32] Shadowing the Conqueror, which transferred to Washington, D.C, was described in The Washington Post as "a depiction of the travels of Alexander the Great (Grimmette) and a contemporary photographer named Mary Ellis (Laura Giannarelli) – based very loosely on the relationship between Alexander and Pyrrho of Elis, a painter who accompanied the warrior on his expedition to the Orient – is most of all a lofty debate between two intensely committed, opposing forces."[33] Jukes wrote the book of the London stage musical Matador,[34] with lyrics by Edward Seago and music by Mike Leander, starring John Barrowman and Stefanie Powers, which premiered at the Queen's Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue in April 1991.

Journalism and politicsEdit

Jukes has been a book reviewer[35] and feature writer[36] for both The Independent and the New Statesman[37] on themes as diverse as nationalism, art in the computer age,[38] and apocalyptic religion.[39][40]

During the 1980s and 90s Jukes was an active member of the British Labour Party and was involved in the investigations around the cash for questions scandal.[41] More recently Jukes became an active Barack Obama supporter during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, writing for Daily Kos and then MyDD when it became a heavily pro-Clinton site. Later he recorded his online experiences of the Primary 'Flame Wars' for Prospect.[42] Following the primaries, he was one of 25 regular bloggers who began writing for a new political blog, The Motley Moose.[43][44]

During the News International phone hacking scandal trial of Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and others, Peter Jukes used the crowdfunding tool indiegogo to raise donations[45] to allow him to livetweet[46] the trial from start to finish.


  1. ^
  2. ^ BBC News | Tompkinson goes in Deep
  3. ^ In Immersion | French Version of in Deep
  4. ^ BBC Web site, Series five
  5. ^ BBC Web site, Series four
  6. ^ BBC Web site
  7. ^ Digital Spy author (22 June 2001) Feltz return grabs 4m, Digital Spy, retrieved 6 January 2007
  8. ^ BBC Press Office
  9. ^ Scottish Bafta Awards
  10. ^ Official Holby City Web Site
  11. ^ Smith, Rupert (6 October 2000). "Life in the fast lane". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  12. ^ Lusher, Tim (29 October 2009). "'They get The Wire, we get Casualty'". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  13. ^ Jukes, Peter (21 October 2009). "Why Britain can't do The Wire". Prospect. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
  14. ^ "BBC synopsis for Soul Motel". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  15. ^ BBC Radio 4 programmes
  16. ^ Cowen, Ruth (25 March 2007). "Bickering actors bring humour to a serious subject". Sunday Express.
  17. ^ Chisholm, Kate (31 March 2007). "Behind the scenes". The Spectator. Retrieved 20 March 2009.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Davies, Patricia Wynn (8 August 2008). "Wednesday's TV & radio choices". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  19. ^ Campling, Chris (30 July 2008). "Radio Choice". The Times. London. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  20. ^ Donovan, Paul (27 July 2008). "Programme of the Week". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  21. ^ Radio Times Preview
  22. ^ Reynolds, Gillian (23 February 2010). "Radio Choice". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
  23. ^ Moira, Petty (22 February 2010). "Radio review – Drama". The Stage. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  24. ^ Peter Jukes. A Shout in the Street: An Excursion into the Modern City. University of California Press. ISBN 0-374-26339-6.
  25. ^ "Hardcovers in Brief". The Washington Post Archive. 26 August 1990. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
  26. ^ Troy, P. (1991). "Book Reviews : A SHOUT IN THE STREET: THE MODERN CITY. Peter Jukes. London, Faber and Faber, 1990. xviii + 258pp. $45.00 (hardback)". Journal of Sociology. Excerpt, Sage Journals Online. 27 (2): 254–255. doi:10.1177/144078339102700214. Archived from the original on 19 January 2016.
  27. ^ "A Shout in the Street – An Excursion into the Modern City". The New Yorker. 27 August 1990.
  28. ^ Jackson, Kevin (23 July 1992). "Anxieties of influence: Melancholic or Marxist? 100 years after his birth, Walter Benjamin is still causing arguments". The Independent. London. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  29. ^ Castells, Manuel; O'Brien, Stephen (1999), "Creative Capital", 21st Century Era, ISBN 9780953404704, retrieved 20 March 2009
  30. ^
  31. ^ Deeivya Meir, Peter Jukes: Podcast "Untold - The Daniel Morgan Murder", episode "Serpico Haslam", 7th of July 2016, 31 min, from minute 1:45. And episode "Too Close for Comfort - New Evidence Connecting Daniel Morgan to another Violent Death", 9th of Oct. 2018, 24 min
  32. ^ "Peter Jukes". – The Playwright's Database. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  33. ^ Sommers, Pamela (1 December 1990). "Stage Guild's Trio on Trust". Washington Post Archives. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
  34. ^ "Matador". – The Playwright's database.
  35. ^ Peter Jukes (February 1999). "Books: Please be my Virtual Valentine..." The Independent. London. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  36. ^ Peter Jukes (April 1993). "The last of England". The Independent. UK. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  37. ^ Jukes, Peter (10 November 1995). "Get a (digital) life". review of MICROSERFS. New Statesman. Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  38. ^ Peter Jukes (June 1992). "The Work of Art in the Digital Domain" (PDF). New Statesman. Retrieved 18 March 2009.[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ Peter Jukes (May 1998). "Books: The apocalypse, now and then". The Independent. London. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  40. ^ Peter Jukes (April 2005). "Die Apokalypse in uns. Die Moderne und der monotheistische Fundamentalismus". Internationale Politik. Retrieved 17 March 2009.[dead link]
  41. ^ "Select Committee on Standards and Privileges". Hansard Appendix 4, Section 12. 27 April 1995. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
  42. ^ "Peter Jukes: "Flaming for Obama"". MYDD. 26 September 2008. Archived from the original on 9 November 2008. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  43. ^ Peter Jukes (October 2008). "Flaming for Obama". Prospect. Retrieved 17 March 2009.
  44. ^ "Special Relationship". The Motley Moose. February 2009. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2009.
  45. ^ "Indiegogo page".
  46. ^ "Peter Jukes Twitter Page page".

External linksEdit