Peter Tinniswood

Peter Tinniswood (21 December 1936 – 9 January 2003) was an English radio and TV comedy scriptwriter, and author of a series of popular cricketing novels. He was born in Liverpool, but grew up above a dry cleaner's on Eastway in Sale, Greater Manchester.

Early careerEdit

Tinniswood attended Sale Boys' Grammar School. His career began in journalism. He spent four years in Sheffield from 1958, first working for The Star, and then for the Sheffield Telegraph, where he was a leader writer and specialised in feature writing. He won widespread admiration for a week-long series Travels with a Donkey, an account of a tramp round the Peak District with a reluctant donkey.

Television and radioEdit

In 1964 Tinniswood collaborated with his long-term writing partner David Nobbs on the BBC sketch show The Frost Report[1] and the comedy Lance At Large, starring Lance Percival. It was an innovative attempt to update the sitcom formula, as Percival's character, Alan Day, was involved in different scenarios and meeting different people in each episode.

The short-lived ITV series Never Say Die (1970) drew on Tinniswood's days as a hospital porter. Set in Victoria Memorial Hospital, the show focused on the comedy created between the patients and staff. It starred Reginald Marsh and Patrick Newell.

Tinniswood's best-known comedy was 1975's I Didn't Know You Cared featuring the Brandons, a dour northern family. Adapted for the BBC from his novels, the programme ran until 1979, and featured Liz Smith, Robin Bailey, John Comer and Stephen Rea.

In 1980 the BBC produced a series based on other Tinniswood books, featuring the character the Brigadier, an erstwhile cricketer and over-the-top raconteur, played by Robin Bailey. Some of the stories were adapted for BBC Radio 4. The series was remade in 1985 for Channel 4.

For ITV in 1983 Tinniswood wrote The Home Front, again set in the north of England. It starred Brenda Bruce as Mrs Place, a nosey, arrogant mother who lorded it over her three children. Two years later ITV produced Mog, based on Peter's 1970 novel and starring Enn Reitel as the title character. The episodes were written by Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement, but it was not a success. Also in 1985 was South Of The Border starring Brian Glover as Edgar Rowley, a Yorkshireman forced to migrate to the south of England.

In later years Tinniswood's output was mostly for Radio 4 and included the continuing adventures of Uncle Mort and Carter Brandon in Uncle Mort's North Country, Uncle Mort's South Country and Uncle Mort's Celtic Fringe and a series about poacher Winston Hayballs, his "bit of fluff" Nancy and her family adapted from his novel "Winston". Liz Goulding, his second wife, played Rosie.

A lifelong pipe smoker, Peter Tinniswood died of throat cancer at the age of 66. Since his death, the Writers' Guild of Great Britain and the Society of Authors have jointly administered in his memory the annual Tinniswood Award, to honour the best original radio drama script broadcast in the UK during the previous year, with a prize of £1500 for the winner.

TV creditsEdit

Novels and other fiction[2]Edit


CRICKETING TALES AND SKETCHES: (A table of the individual pieces in these books is given at the foot of this section).

  • Tales From A Long Room (1981)
  • More Tales From A Long Room (1982)
  • Collected Tales From A Long Room (1982) - a compilation of the above two titles
  • The Brigadier Down Under (1983)
  • The Brigadier In Season (1984)
  • The Brigadier’s Brief Lives (1984)
  • The Brigadier’s Tour (1985)
  • The Brigadier's Collection (1986) - compilation [of 'Down Under' and 'In Season'?]
  • Tales from Witney Scrotum (1987)
  • Witney Scrotum (1995) - despite a similar title to the above, this is a different set of stories


  • Hayballs (1989)
  • Winston (1991)


  • The Stirk Of Stirk (1974)
  • Shemerelda (1981)
  • Dolly’s War (1987)

The books listed above under the heading Cricketing Tales And Sketches contain short stories and other humorous pieces as shown here:

# Tales From A Long Room More Tales From A Long Room The Brigadier Down Under The Brigadier In Season Tales From Witney Scrotum Witney Scrotum
1 Root's Boot Witney Scrotum The Explanation The Start of the Season The Dedication The Commodore
2 Our Own Dear Queen The Boys of Summer The Landfall Stumped! The Introduction Mentioned in Dispatches
3 The Ditherers Batman First Impressions A Day in the Life of Hitting the Truth Slakehouse
4 'Blackstop' Five Non-Cricketers A Day Out Harold Salisbury A Walk with Miss Roebuck Himmelweit Revisited
5 What Do I Mean By? Sibson Before The Match A Glimpse into the Future The Third Man In Dock
6 The Lady Wife The Royal Wedding First Dispatches From The Front The Party Souvenirs Mitchell Dever
7 The Groundsman's Horse Hard Times Kingsley Kunzel Carry on Goering Tour de Force The Trusty Old Lanchester
8 Mendip-Hughes The Mole Second Dispatches From The Front The Holy Father Famous Sons Split Runciman
9 Cricketers' Cook Book Apartheid The Lady Wife Down Under "Looknow" Hobson Another Bloody Wife Alternative Cricket
10 Polar Games Blofeld Revisited A Visit To Naunton Miss Roebuck's Diaries: The Journals of a Cricketing Spinster The Half Century What-Ho, Vileness
11 The Ones That Got Away Cricket Ahoy Third Dispatches From The Front The Brigadier in Season The Great Day Beryl
12 I Was There The Return Stop Press The Bird Tapes
13 Incident at Frome When Winter Comes
14 Farewell, My Lovelies
15 The Perfect Day
16 Cricketers' Quiz

Collected Tales From A Long Room - stories 1-13 are the same as 1-13 in Tales From A Long Room; stories 14-24 are the same as 1-11 in More Tales From A Long Room.

The Brigadier’s Brief Lives - contains the following short sketches:

    1. Miss Petula Clark
    2. Lord Carrington
    3. Mr Rupert Murdoch
    4. Mr Richard Baker
    5. Sir John Mills
    6. Mr Ray Buckton
    7. Mr E. W. Swanton
    8. Lord Wilson
    9. Mr Kevin Keegan
    10. Mr Norman St John Stevas
    11. Sir Douglas Bader
    12. Mr Roy Jenkins
    13. Sir Robin Day
    14. Miss Jan Leeming
    15. Prince Philip
    16. Mr Andrew Lloyd-Webber
    17. Lord Goodman
    18. Miss Jilly Cooper
    19. The Duke of Westminster
    20. Mr David Frost
    21. Mr Laurie McMenamy
    22. The Village Tea Lady
    23. Miss Esther Tantzen
    24. Andrew Previn
    25. Lord Lichfield
    26. Mr Geoffrey Boycott
    27. Mrs Mary Whitehouse
    28. Sir Richard Attenborough
    29. Mr Robert Robinson
    30. Mr Winston Churchill
    31. Lord Longford
    32. Mr Michael Parkinson
      1. Mr Terry Wogan
      2. Mr David Attenborough
      3. Mr Roy Plomley
      4. Mr Sebastian Coe
      5. Miss Pamela Stephenson
      6. Mr Arthur Scargill
      7. Mr Roy Hattersley
      8. Mr Ian Paisley
      9. Cardinal Hume
      10. Mr Ian Botham
      11. Mr Michael Foot
      12. Mr H. D. 'Dicky' Bird
      13. Mr Frank Muir
      14. Earl Spencer
      15. Mr Jimmy Hill
      16. Mr Leon Brittan
      17. Mr Jimmy Saville OBE
      18. Miss Elizabeth Jane Howard
      19. Mr Tony Benn
      20. Mr Tom Stoppard
      21. Mr Bob Willis
      22. Mr Barry Took
      23. Miss Britt Ekland
      24. Sir Peter Hall
      25. Sir Geoffrey Howe
      26. Mr James Cameron
      27. Lord Lucan
      28. Mr Ned Sherrin
      29. The Archbishop of Canterbury
      30. Princess Margaret
      31. Miss Jean Rook
      32. Mr Norman Tebbitt
        1. Mr Mick Jagger
        2. Mr Patrick Moore
        3. Doctor David Owen
        4. Mr Jimmy Young
        5. Sir Anthont Blunt
        6. Mr Clive Jenkins
        7. Mr Enoch Powell
        8. Lady Falklander
        9. Miss Jan Morris
        10. Mr Ludovic Kennedy
        11. Mr Brian Redhead
        12. Mr Brian Johnson
        13. Mr Reginald Bosanquet
        14. Mr Auberon Waugh
        15. Mr Bill Sowerbutts
        16. Mr Jim Laker
        17. Mr Jackie Stewart
        18. Lord Kagan
        19. Sir Harold Macmillan
        20. Mr John Wells
        21. Mrs Shirley Williams
        22. Mr Henry Cooper
        23. Mr John Lennon
        24. Mr Neil Kinnock
        25. Captain Mark Phillips
        26. Mr Winston Place
        27. Dame Vera Lynn
        28. Mr Feliks Topolski
        29. Mr Alan Ayckbourn
        30. Sir John Hackett

        The Brigadier’s Tour - contains the following 116 short sketches:

        The Introduction

        The Captain: • Mr W. H. Wooller

        The Vice-Captain: • Mr D. J. Insole

        The Opening Batsmen: • Mr W. Place • Sir J. B. Hobbs • Mr J. B. Stollmeyer • Mr H. L. Collins • Mr W. Rhodes • Mr W. M. Lawry • Mr A. Jones • Mr S. M. Gavaskar • Mr A. R. Morris • Mr A. C. Maclaren • Mr F. A. Lowson • Mr Hanif Mohammed • Mr R. T. Simpson • Mr C. Milburn • Mr G. Boycott • Mr T. Meale

        The Specialist Batsmen: • Mr F. R. Spofforth • Mr K. C. Bland • Mr E. de C. Weekes • Mr W. Watson • Mr C. B. Fry • Mr I. R. Redpath • Mr M. P. Donnelly • Mr C. H. Lloyd • Mr G. Gunn • Mr D. I. Gower • Sir D. G. Bradman • Mr G. R. Viswanath • Mr D. C. S. Compton • Mr A. D. Nourse • Nawab of Pataudi • Mr P. M. Roebuck • Mr V. T. Trumper • Mr I. V. A. Richards • Mr J. E. P. McMaster • Mr R. H. Spooner • Brigadier-General R. M. Poore • Mr D. W. Randall • Mr Z. Abbas • Mr K. D. Mackay • Mr G. L. Jessop • Charles Lawrence, Mullagh, Dick-A-Dick, Twopenny, Red Cap, Mosquito, King Cole, Peter, Cuzens, Tiger, Jim Crow, Bullocky, Dumas, Sundown • Mr D. B. Close • Mr R. L. Dias • Mr C. L. Walcott • Mr T. W. Hayward • Rt Rev D. S. Sheppard • Mr R. N. Harvey • Mr T. W. Graveney • Sir P. F. Warner • Mr A. R. Lewis • Mr A. R. Border • Mr H. Pilling

        The All Rounders: • Mr W. G. Grace • Mr R. G. Garlick • Mr R. Benaud • Mr G. H. Hirst • Lord Constantine, Baron of Maraval and Nelson • Mr M. A. Noble • Mr R. M. Kapil Dev • Sir G. St. A. Sobers • Mr P. M. Walker • Mr M. J. Procter • Mr A. E. Trott • Mr F. E. Woolley • Sir F. M. M. Worrell • Mr W. R. Hammond • Mr I. T. Botham

        The Fast Bowlers: • Mr J. B. Statham • Mr J. Barton King • Mr H. Larwood • Mr D. K. Lillee • Mr Fazal Mahmood • Mr R. V. Divecha • Mr W. Voce • Mr R. R. Lindwall • Mr W. J. O'Reilly • Mr R. G. D. Willis • Mr E. A. McDonald • Mr M. W. Tate • Mr T. Richardson • Mr I. J. Jones • Mr J. M. Gregory • Mr R. J. Hadlee • Mr F. E. Rumsey • Sir C. A. Smith

        The Spinners: • Mr D. J. Shepherd • Mr C. V. Grimmett • Mr R. Peel • Mr P. H. Edmonds • Mr B. S. Bedi • Mr R. Tattersall • Mr J. E. Emburey • Mr H. J. Tayfield • Mr S. Ramadhin • Mr J. C. White • Mr D. V. P. Wright • Mr J. Briggs • Mr J. C. Laker • Mr L. R. Gibbs • Mr C. H. Parkin • Mr H. Verity • Mr Abdul Qadir • Mr C. Blythe

        The Greatest Bowler Of Them All: • Mr S. F. Barnes

        The Wicket Keepers: • Mr D. Tallon • Mr R. W. Marsh • Mr F. M. Engineer • Mr R. W. Taylor • Mr J. R. Reid • Mr J. G. Binks • Mr W. H. V. Levett

        The Replacements: • The Replacements.

        Radio creditsEdit

        Radio dramaEdit

        (snt = BBC Saturday-Night Theatre; aft = BBC Afternoon Theatre, m = monologue)

        • 1964 Hardluck Hall (6 x 30m, series of comedy plays)
        • 1973 Sam's Wedding (aft)
        • 1980 A Gifted Child (aft)
        • 1981 An Occasional Day (aft)
        • 1981 Stoker Leishman's Diaries (snt)
        • 1981 The Siege
        • 1981 The Bargeman's Comfort
        • 1985 Crossing the Frontier
        • 1987 A Touch Of Daniel (snt)
        • 1987 The Village Fete rpt. 1988 (snt)
        • 1990 A Small Union
        • 1992 Tales from the Brigadier
        • 1992 Two into Three
        • 1993 The Governor's Consort (for M. Wimbush) R3
        • 1995 Pen Pals
        • 1997 Secret life of the Shed–feature on shed life–with P.Tinniswood
        • 1997 Batteries not included-feature on batteries-with P.Tinniswood
        • 1997 A Very Rare Bird Indeed
        • 1998 The Last Obituary (for Billie Whitelaw;m),rpt 1999
        • 1998 Visiting Julia: 6-episode comedy drama series
        • 1998 Next time we might play better
        • 1998 The wireless lady
        • 1998 On the whole it's been jolly good (for Maurice Denham;m),rpt.1999
        • 1998 Verona-a conspiracy of parrots (for Stephanie Cole;m),rpt 1999
        • 1999 The House Swap
        • 1999 The Scan
        • 2000 Dorothy, a Manager's wife
        • 2000 Age Gap
        • 2000 The Packer
        • 2000 Admiral of the night
        • 2000 Monument (adapted from Eduardo De Filippo), dram.
        • 2001 The Duvet Lady (Billie Whitelaw monologue)
        • 2001 Mr. Reliable
        • 2001 Tales from the backbench (series 1, 4 episodes)
        • 2001 On the train from Chemnitz
        • 2001 Tales from the Backbench (series 2, 4 episodes)
        • 2002 On the whole it's been jolly good, rpt
        • 2002 The Air Raid
        • 2002 Anton in Eastbourne (for Paul Scofield)
        • 2003 The Goalkeeper's Boo-Boo
        • 2010 The Visitor (BBC Radio 4 7.10.2010, Roy Hudd and Emma Fielding)


        (numbers show no. of episodes) [4][unreliable source?]

        • Home Again 6 (R4 2.6.1980– 7.7.1980 Robin Bailey/Doreen Mantle/Liz Goulding/David Troughton/Christopher Benjamin)
        • Uncle Mort's North Country 5 (R4 21.7.1988 -18.8.1988 Stephen Thorne/Peter Skellern/Christian Rodska)
        • Winston 6 (R4 26.4.1989– 31.5.1989 Maurice Denham/Christian Rodska/Shirley Dixon/Liz Goulding/Bill Wallis)
        • Winston Comes To Town 6 (R4 1.1.1990– 5.2.1990 Maurice Denham/Shirley Dixon/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska/Bill Wallis)
        • Uncle Mort's South Country – Series 1 5 (R4 12.7.1990 9.8.1990 Stephen Thorne/Sam Kelly/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska)
        • Uncle Mort's South Country – Series 2 5 (R4 27.10.1990 -24.11.1990 Stephen Thorne/Sam Kelly/Liz Goulding/Christopher Good/Christian Rodska)
        • Winston In Love 6 (R4 31.12.1990 -4.2.1991 Shirley Dixon/Bill Wallis/Maurice Denham/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska)
        • Winston In Europe 6 (R4 12.3.1992 -16.4.1992 Shirley Dixon/Maurice Denham/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska/Bill Wallis)
        • Winston Back Home 6 (R4 31.3.1994 -5.5.1994 Shirley Dixon/Maurice Denham/Liz Goulding/Christian Rodska/Bill Wallis)
        • Uncle Mort's Celtic Fringe 5 (R4 12.2.1996 -11.3.1996 Stephen Thorne/Sam Kelly/Christian Rodska/Liz Goulding)

        External linksEdit


        1. ^ Obituary for Peter Tinniswood, The Independent, 11 January 2003.
        2. ^ MBA Literary Agents Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
        3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 June 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
        4. ^ Sutton Elms Radio Drama resource