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Michael Wearing

Michael Wearing

Michael Wearing is a British television producer, who has spent much of his career working on various drama productions for the BBC. He is best known as the producer of the highly-acclaimed serials Boys from the Blackstuff (1982) and Edge of Darkness (1985), which created for him a reputation as one of British television's foremost producers of high-quality, award-winning drama.

His initial career was in the ever popular theatre, where he worked as a director, before in 1976 he joined the BBC's English Regions Drama Department as a Script Editor. The department, based at BBC Birmingham, had been set up as an attempt to counter the BBC's tradition of producing dramas that were almost exclusively made and set in London and the surrounding areas, and was charged with making 'regional drama' based in all areas of the country.

Over the following five years, Wearing worked as both a script editor and producer on various series and plays for the department, with his most successful production there being the Play for Today entry The Black Stuff. Written by Alan Bleasdale, despite languishing on the shelf for two years waiting for a broadcast slot before being shown in 1980, the play was a great success and led in 1982 to Bleasdale writing and Wearing producing Boys from the Blackstuff, a sequel series showing what happened to the characters involved after the events of the play. This was highly acclaimed and award-winning, and led to Wearing being called down to work at the central BBC drama department in London.

The first project he was given there by Head of Series & Serials Jonathan Powell was a Troy Kennedy Martin script entitled Edge of Darkness. Eventually screened in 1985, Edge of Darkness proved to be yet another award-winner, and cemented Wearing's reputation.

In 1989, he was made Head of Serials at the BBC, the Series and Serials departments now having been separated as they had originally been. In 1993, after Head of Series Peter Cregeen's departure from the Corporation, Wearing was briefly Head of Series & Serials, before his role was reduced to simply overseeing Serials again the following year.

In his time as Head of Serials he oversaw the production of a great number of productions, among the most famous being the new era of costume drama literary adaptations such as Middlemarch (1993) and Pride and Prejudice (1995). However, perhaps his most lasting legacy and yet another acclaimed award-winner was the 1996 BBC Two serial Our Friends in the North. Written by playwright Peter Flannery, Our Friends in the North was a production Wearing had wanted to bring to the screens since the early 1980s, but due to various difficulties with budgets and BBC executives, he had never been able to. Now, with a bulletproof reputation and as Head of Serials the ability to commission the production himself, he was finally able to persuade channel controller Michael Jackson to accept the serial, which was a resounding hit.

In 1998 Wearing left the staff of the BBC, although he has continued to do various producing work for them since.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2005.

Michael Wearing Facts


Selected Filmography

Episode 1
Episode 2
Window Watcher
Time Will Tell
To Play the King Episode 2
The Final Cut Episode 1
The Turtle and the Hare
Live Wire
Timothy Goes to School;Yoko
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