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Melissa Blood on the Dole
Oliver Twist Self Catering
Pleasure Soft Sand, Blue Sea
Jake's Progress Requiem Apache
 
Keith Thompson  
 
 

Keith Thompson's association with television drama began in 1974 when he worked on Alan Plater's adaptation of A J Cronin's The Stars Look Down. This was the first of many productions at Granada Television as Production Manager and Associate Producer, including: Mirage, and the Emmy Award-winning drama documentary Collision Course, The Mallens (the first Catherine Cookson series on ITV), Lawrence Olivier Presents (a series of classic dramas produced by Sir Lawrence Olivier), Ford Maddox Ford's The Good Soldier (nominated for an Emmy award 1981),  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (made in association with WGBH Boston, Masterpiece Theatre) and David Lodge's Small World.

1987 Keith went to work in Granada's feature film company on the production of Frank Clarke's The Fruit Machine, launched at the 1988 Edinburgh Film Festival (re-titled 'Wonderland' for U.S. distribution).

The following year he became Head of Drama Production, managing the whole of Granada's drama development and production portfolios including independent and international co-productions, overseeing dramas such as Neville Shute's Pied Piper starring Peter O'Toole (for the NBC network), Fay Weldon's The Cloning of Joanna May (in association with FR 3 France), Dead Man Out (in association with HBO) starring Danny Glover and Ruben Blades, The Real Charlotte (in association with RTE & WGBH) starring Patrick Bergin, the first Prime Suspect and the revival of George Simenon's Maigret starring Michael Gambon (also in association with WGBH.)

In 1992 Keith joined forces with Alan Bleasdale to form Diplomat Films Limited and to work on a series of four TV Movies screened by Channel Four in Autumn 1994.   He produced two of the films, Self Catering by Andy Cullen, filmed in the Virgin Islands and Blood on the Dole by Jim Morris, shot in Liverpool. Then, line produced Requiem Apache, starring Alfred Molina, and was Executive Producer on Plaisir, starring, Jennifer Ehle and Adrian Dunbar, which was filmed in the city of Rouen in Northern France.

Keith then went on to produce Alan Bleasdale's award-winning 6-part series Jake's Progress, starring Julie Walters and Robert Lindsay, which was filmed in Southern Ireland and broadcast by Channel Four in 1995.

This was followed in 1996 by a 5-part thriller series for Channel Four entitled Melissa, adapted from the novel by Francis Durbridge, starring Jennifer Ehle, Tim Dutton, Julie Walters and Adrian Dunbar.

strong>Soft Sand, Blue Sea, written by Stephen Butchard winner of the 1997 Dennis Potter Award, was another TV movie produced for Channel Four. This film was shot entirely on location in Southern Ireland.

 

Diplomat Films' latest major costume drama produced by Keith was Oliver Twist, dramatised by Alan Bleasdale and made for the ITV Network in association with United Productions London and WGBH Boston.

The majority of the filming for the series took place at Barrandov Studios and on location in Prague. To date, this 4 x 2-hour series has won the British Television and Radio Industry Club Award for Best Drama Series and received nominations for a South Bank Show Award, the French FIPA Award for television drama and the Royal Television Society Best Drama Series Award. It has been aired in 28 countries.

Keith returned to Ireland in Spring 2001 to line produce Bobbie's Girl – a TV Movie of the Week for Paramount/Showtime directed by Jeremy Kagan and starring Bernadette Peters and Rachel Ward. Later in the year he produced a 2 x 2-hour psychological drama for Sally Head Productions entitled The Cry. The director was David Drury and it starred Sarah Lancashire. This production was broadcast on ITV in April 2002. Subsequently that year, Sarah was awarded the prize for 'Best Actress in a Series' at the Monte Carlo Television Festival for her performance in this production.

Dublin was also the base for The Return, a Sally Head Production, written by Kate O'Riordan, produced by Keith and directed by Dermot Boyd. This 2-hour film for ITV, starring Julie Walters, was transmitted in December 2003. This production has recently been nominated as Best TV Drama in the 2004 Irish Film and Television Awards.

Foyle's War, Series 3 was the next project. This popular ITV series, starring Michael Kitchen, consists of 4 x 2-hour filmed episodes and was broadcast in October/November 2004.

In the late Summer and Autumn of 2004 Keith was engaged in the production of Granada's Malice Aforethought – a darkly comic murder story set in 1930's rural England. It starred Ben Miller, Barbara Flynn, Megan Dodds and Peter Vaughan.

strong>Foyle's War, Series 4 returned in 2005 and then on to Pickles a 90-minute TV film for Impossible Pictures starring Paul Kaye, Camille Coduri and Keith Baron, screened on ITV to coincide with the World Cup 2006.

The 5th Series of Foyle's War, 2 x 2hr episodes, followed and the end of 2006 saw the completion of Andrew Davies' adaptation of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, broadcast on ITV in April 2007.

 

 

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