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Bookmark and Share Verity Lambert biography to be published

1/21/2014 03:15:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

A biography of Doctor Who's first producer is to be published next January. Drama and Delight: The Life and Legacy of Verity Lambert is being written by Richard Marson and will be brought out by Miwk Publishing Ltd.

Not only was Lambert the show's first producer, it was also her first TV programme as a producer, having been poached from commercial rival ABC by drama boss Sydney Newman. At the time, she was also the youngest and only female drama producer at the BBC.

Lambert went on to have a hugely successful and influential career in TV production, becoming a head of drama herself - at Thames Television - and later setting up her own production company. She received an OBE in the 2002 New Year Honours for services to film and television production, and that same year also saw her presented with BAFTA's Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television. She died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 71.

For five decades, the name Verity Lambert appeared on the end credits of many of Britain's most celebrated and talked-about television dramas, among them Adam Adamant Lives!, Budgie, The Naked Civil Servant, Minder, Edward and Mrs Simpson, Eldorado, G.B.H. and Jonathan Creek. She was the very first producer of Doctor Who, which she nurtured through its formative years at a time when there were few women in positions of power in the television industry. Later, she worked within the troubled British film business and became a pioneering independent producer, founding her own highly successful company, Cinema Verity.

Within her profession, she was hugely respected as an intensely driven, sometimes formidable but always stylish exponent of her craft, with the stamina and ability to combine quantity with quality.

Many of her productions have had a lasting cultural and emotional impact on their audiences and continue to be enjoyed to this day. But who was the woman behind all these television triumphs and what was the price she paid to achieve them?

Combining months of painstaking research and interviews with many of Lambert's closest friends and colleagues, Drama and Delight will capture the energy and spirit of this remarkable woman and explore her phenomenal and lasting legacy.
Marson wrote for Doctor Who Monthly/Magazine between 1983 and 1988, and after graduating from the University of Durham in 1987 joined the BBC, progressing from floor assistant to producer/director. Along the way, he worked on many iconic programmes including Top of the Pops, That's Life!, Going Live!, and Wogan. He went freelance in 1994, with stints at companies such as Planet 24, Chatsworth, and LWT. A return to the BBC in 1997 to direct series of Record Breakers and Tomorrow's World led to his appointment as a producer on Blue Peter in 1998, where he remained for almost a decade. He spent four years as the programme's editor.

In 2007, he was the executive producer of BBC Four's Children's TV On Trial, while more recently he produced and directed the 90-minute documentary Tales of Television Centre for the same channel. He is currently with TwoFour, producing a major 15-part "fixed-rig" documentary (where the cameras are stationary) for CBBC called Our School.

Marson is the author of several books, including Inside Updown: The Story of Upstairs, Downstairs, Blue Peter 50th Anniversary, and JN-T: The Life and Scandalous Times of John Nathan-Turner, which caused a media stir when it was published last year.