Posted 28th of June 2006


Sadly, Allan Prior, who wrote the episodes Horizon, Hostage, The Keeper, Volcano and Animals has died, aged 84.

Allan Prior wrote more than 300 TV scripts, as well as over 30 radio plays and 20 novels. His writing career began in 1943 when he won a writing competition while he was an RAF pilot during WWII, which led to having stories accepted by l iterary magazines. Shortly after the war ended he became a full time writer beginning with scripts for radio, and published his first novel A Flame in the Air about men returning from the war to a northern town.

He is best known as founder writer of the 1960's cop show Z Cars and the soap opera Howards Way which he created with the producer Gerard Glaister and ran from 1985 to 1990, attracting up to 14 million viewers. Z Cars began in 1962, with Prior writing 5 of the first 10 episodes, going on to write 80 scripts for the show during its 16 year run. He also wrote 37 episodes of the Z Cars spin-off Softly, Softly which starred Stratford Johns, as well as scripts for a spin-off of Softly, Softly called Barlow at Large. During the 1960's and 1970's he wrote several original plays including several for Armchair Theatre. He wrote for series such as The Borderers, The Gold Robbers, The Onedin Line, Crown Court, Sutherland's Law, Warship, The Sweeney, Secret Army, Juliet Bravo, Dr Finlay's Casebook and of course Blake's 7.. He also wrote The Charmer a six-part ITV series about a 1930's con-man, starring Nigel Havers.

Allan Prior was born on 13 January 1922 in Newcastle upon Tyne, and died on 1st June 2006 aged 84. He is survived by his second wife, Norma, and by a son and two daughters, one of whom is the folk singer Maddy Prior, lead singer of Steel eye Span. Our deepest sympathy to all his family and friends.

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