Michael J Bird - The life and work of the man who created The Lotus Eaters
Paperback, 254 Pages
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Early in 1973 a group were on Crete filming a BBC drama series The Lotus Eaters. The star, Ian Hendry, was an alcoholic and at times difficult to handle. He was refusing to rehearse a crucial scene. The director turned to the series' writer and creator, Michael J. Bird, for help. Bird disappeared and returned with a shotgun, which he pointed at Hendry. The actor, for once, was lost for words. Trying to stare down Bird didn't work, the writer was on higher ground, and the shotgun in his hands looked very much part of him. The director remembered tales of Bird's wartime service as a spook. Hendry must have heard the same tales: he picked up his script and continued as though nothing had happened. The director believes it was not fear that made the actor change his stance - it was Bird's showmanship and mysterious past which Hendry, an artist of considerable talent, appreciated. The cast and crew were in no doubt. Michael Bird was more than the average television writer.
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Jun 26, 2009"Michael J Bird - The life and work of the man who created The Lotus Eaters " I’ve just finished reading this book from cover to cover and recommend it without hesitation. It’s a well researched and well written biography of a prolific and talented writer whose name will be unfamiliar to most, but actually, you do know him. Dangerman, Hadleigh, Paul Temple, The Onedin Line, and Warship, are all classic TV series that he contributed episodes to as well as many others. He is best known for The Lotus Eaters and Who pays the Ferryman? which are both available on DVD now, and this book is the perfect accompaniment to those series. This was the golden age of BBC drama in the 1970’s that was the envy of the world. The book takes you through the behind the scenes struggles that a writer has to endure in order to see his creations come to life, together with frank and amusing recollections from the cast and crew. There are some remarkable revelations and contributions from people who... More > knew him privately and professionally. Writers like this don’t come along very often and his work is as appealing today and it was then. An extraordinary talent that could imagine and conceptualise a whole series from just a chance meeting with a stranger, or from an inspirational vista on a Greek island. The book is packed with rare photographs, and even contains Michael Bird’s Format and Writers notes for The Lotus Eaters which makes for fascinating reading in itself. I could hardly put it down, and neither will you. If you’ve come this far, then go a little further and order this great book. You won’t be disappointed. Well done David Rice. Auntie Joan would have been very proud. Chris Williams www.thestoriesofrhys.com< Less
Mar 20, 2009"Michael J. Bird" As well as exploring the many facets of this writers complex personality and colourful life, author Dave Rice takes readers behind the scenes of not only “the Lotus Eaters”, but also his many other successful television drama series such as “Who Pays the Ferryman”, “the Aphrodite Inheritance”, “Dark Side of the Sun” “Maelstrom” and other, less well known series created by Michael J. Bird. With anecdotes, comments and excerpts from personal interviews and correspondence Dave had with many of the actors, directors and others involved in the production of these series, a wide assortment of photographs many of which have been provided by Michaels widow Olive, a filmography and the Lotus Eaters writers and format notes, I can highly recommend this book as a must for everyone who appreciates the work of this talented writer.
Feb 18, 2009"Michael J Bird" Mr Rice has expended a great deal of time, effort and energy to chronicle the life and work of one of the unsung heroes of recent British television drama. This very readable account details Michael J Bird's prodigious writing output and gives the reader an insight into what a remarkable man Mr Bird was.
Jan 17, 2009"Michael J Bird " This book arrived in the post yesterday. On opening the cover I simply could not put it down until every page had been read. It is a unique insight to a gloriously talented and "slightly" volatile writer. David Rice's book is packed with information, anecdodes and interest.It is crafted with obvious respect, enthusiasm and love of the Bird's work. He is to be congratulated. It is a cracking read that strains at the memory and echoes of the past. It certainly celebrates works we once enjoyed and awakens the desire to revisit any that may emerge from time to time. PW
Jan 15, 2009"Michael J Bird - no. 230703" As the editor of the Programme Preservation Society (PPS) magazine, Radio TellyScope, I published a series of articles by David on the work of Michael J Bird some time ago. When David told me he was writing a book on Bird's work, I knew it would be a marvelous read - and it is. This is, of course, much expanded on those original articles, linked in of course to the biography of the man concerned, his hopes, dreams, aspirations and irritations from childhood to adulthood and from early sales through popular scripter to dejected writer unable to interest hidebound money-led broadcasters in the Nineties and beyond. Since undertaking the work as a complete biography, David has sourced many original photographs from stars and personnel connected with the series Bird scripted and from his widow Olive, and this added illustrative material only serves to point up the shortcomings in how I originally presented David’s articles in RTS; this book is a... More > richly illustrated tome. With a wonderful prose style which really sells the life and work of one of the best television dramatists of near-recent times, David has produced what I would consider the definitive work here and I have no reservations in recommending it to anyone who either read those original articles in RTS or comes fresh to it now. To both writers, MJB and DR, this book salutes you both.< Less
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- Standard Copyright License
- Krasakis Press
- September 27, 2006
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 0.93 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6.14 wide x 9.21 tall
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