Top Scriptwriters 2017- By Prolific North

Today we’re pleased to unveil a brand new piece of research for Prolific North and indeed the first of its kind anywhere.

The Prolific North Top Scriptwriters 2017 – which is not ranked in any order – focuses on those men and women, largely behind the camera, who have helped to make the North such a fertile land for outstanding comedy and drama.

We have partnered with one of the leading production companies in the North – LA Productions – to research and present the talent behind the twists and turns that have formed so many memorable scenes on our screens in recent years.

Andrew Morrissey and Sarah Deane, LA Productions’ head of development and development executive respectively, have led the research.

Andrew discusses the methodology behind the research here: “An undoubtedly talented list… but also predominantly white and male”.

The Prolific North Top Scriptwriters 2017

  1. Danny Brocklehurst


    Ordinary Lies, Accused, In the Dark

    Brocklehurst has written on some of the biggest UK dramas of recent years including Ordinaryread more

  2. Andrew Mettam

    Boy Meets Girl

    Comedy writer Mettam has written for Scallywagga and BBC Comedy Feeds (Episode “Fishbowl”). He wentread more

  3. Andy Lynch

    Moving On, Grange Hill, Hollyoaks

    Lynch has written on numerous soaps including Hollyoaks and Emmerdale, as well as Grange Hill. He’sread more

  4. Chris Lunt



    Lunt wrote for two series of ITV drama Prey, starring John Simm, for which he was nominatedread more

  5. Colette Kane


    Moving On, Broken

    Liverpool writer Kane has written on four series of Jimmy McGovern drama series Moving On, andread more

  6. Dean Lines

    The Hatton Garden Job, Pretty Boy

    Dean co-wrote The Hatton Garden Job with Ray Bogdanovich and also the upcoming film Pretty Boy.

  7. Craig Cash


    The Royle Family, Early Doors, Sunshine

    A star in front of and behind the camera, Craig Cash was co-writer on the series Early Doors andread more

  8. Debbie Horsfield


    Cutting It, Poldark, True Dare Kiss

    Horsfield wrote the successful BBC series Cutting It and True Dare Kiss and, most recently,read more

  9. Derren Litten

    Kingston upon Hull

    Benidorm, The Catherine Tate Show, Not Going Out

    Also an actor, Litten created and wrote the smash-hit ITV comedy Benidorm, as well as The Spa andread more

  10. Elliot Hope

    Holby City, Hollyoaks

    Hope has written numerous episodes of Hollyoaks and Casualty as well as for the series Daziel andread more

  11. Elliott Kerrigan


    Boy Meets Girl

    Kerrigan created and wrote the award-winning transgender comedy Boy Meets Girl for BBC Two afterread more

  12. Jed Mercurio

    Nelson, Lancashire

    Line of Duty, Critical, Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    A former doctor, Jed used his medical experiences to inspire the TV drama series Bodies andread more

  13. Furquan Akhtar

    Wolfblood, Coronation Street, The Dumping Ground

    After working in the editorial team for Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, Akhtar has gone on toread more

  14. Jan McVerry


    Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Homefront

    The Liverpool writer cut her writing teeth on shows like Emmerdale and Children’s Ward beforeread more

  15. Johanne McAndrew


    Holby City, Hollyoaks, Dalziel and Pascoe

    With her writing partner Elliot Hope, McAndrew created the BBC series Candy Cabs and Nice Guy more

  16. John Fay


    The Mill, Coronation Street, Torchwood

    Starting with Brookside, Fay has gone on to write for Coronation Street, Clocking Off, Mobile,read more

  17. Kamal Kaan

    The Headline Ballads

    Kamal Kaan has written a number of plays for Radio 4, including The Headline Ballads, and isread more

  18. Kay Mellor


    Band Of Gold, Fat Friends, The Syndicate

    With a portfolio which includes Playing The Field, Band Of Gold and Fat Friends, Mellor continuesread more

  19. Maxine Alderton



    After working the editorial department on ITV’s Emmerdale, Maxine has gone on to write extensivelyread more

  20. Tony Green

    Hollyoaks, The Mill

    As well as his extensive theatre work, Green has written for Hollyoaks, Moving On, Casualty and The Mill.

  21. Nick Leather

    North West

    The Dumping Ground, Rocket’s Island, Hollyoaks

    Leather’s TV credits include Justice, Secrets And Words, Stepping Up, Moving On and The Dumpingread more

  22. Paul Abbott

    Burnley, Lancashire

    Shameless, No Offence, State of Play

    After writing for the radio, Paul went on to write some of the landmark series of the past twentyread more

  23. Peter Bowker


    The A Word, Blackpool, Marvellous

    Previous to the popular The A-Word, Bowker’s credits include Marvellous, Capital, From There To Here, and Blackpool.

  24. Ray Bogdanovich


    The Hatton Garden Job, The Lost Generation

    After writing a number of well received short films, Bogdanovich wrote the screenplay The Lostread more

  25. Roanne Bardsley


    Having grown up in Wales, Bardsley went on to work for Hollyoaks in the editorial more

  26. Sarah McDonald Hughes



    For the screen, McDonald Hughes has written for the BBC series Doctors. As well as writing for theread more

  27. Shaun Duggan


    Moving On, Eastenders, Brookside

    Duggan began writing for Brookside before working on Eastenders, Moving On, Banished, Jamie Johnson and Accused.

  28. Stephen Gallagher


    Eleventh Hour, Crusoe, Silent Witness

    Starting with the original Doctor Who, Gallagher has written for the series Chimera, Bugs, Rosemaryread more

  29. Tom Bidwell

    Leeds, formerly Preston

    My Mad Fat Diary, Watership Down, Holby City

    After writing for Eastenders, Casualty, Doctors and Holby City, Bidwell was part of Coming Upread more

  30. Andrew Kirk

    Emmerdale, The Chase, The Messenger

    After starting out as a story producer on Emmerdale, Kirk has gone on to write over 100 episodes ofread more

  31. Chris Chibnall


    Doctor Who, Broadchurch, Torchwood

    The new Doctor Who showrunner also created and wrote Broadchurch, The Great Train Robbery andread more

  32. Frank Cottrell Boyce


    Millions, 24 Hour Party People, London 2012 Opening Ceremony

    Since writing for Brookside and Coronation Street, Frank Cottrell Boyce has written the screenplaysread more

  33. Jack Casey

    Portal, Pickle, Broken Britain

    While working behind the camera, Jack has also written a number of short films and penned the online series Portal.

  34. Helen Blakeman

    Hollyoaks, Hetty Feather

    Helen Blakeman’s debut Pleasureland earned her a BAFTA nomination for Best New Writer. Her seriesread more

  35. Alice Nutter

    Burnley, Lancashire

    The Street, Accused, Moving On

    Once a member of anarchic group Chumbawumba, Nutter has written extensively for film, theatre,read more

  36. Ben Tagoe

    From Glasgow, lives in Leeds

    Coronation Street, Doctors

    Tagoe is a frequent writer on Coronation Street and has also written for Doctors, Casualty andread more

  37. Carmel Morgan

    Brookside, Coronation Street, The Royle Family

    Although born in Oxfordshire, Morgan’s creative output has been significantly embedded in the North,read more

  38. Debbie Oates

    North West

    Coronation Street, Brookside, Fat Friends

    Previously a writer on ITV series Primeval and Fat Friends, Oates went on to write The Dumpingread more

  39. Dominic Mitchell


    In The Flesh, Westworld

    A former production runner, Mitchell is a graduate of the Royal Court’s Young Writers Programme andread more

  40. Ellen Taylor

    Coronation Street, The Musketeers, Casualty

    A former producer, script editor and award-winning storyliner, Taylor is a core writer onread more

  41. Esther Wilson


    Moving On, Call The Midwife

    Wilson has written on six series of award-winning BBC drama Moving On, plus Call The Midwife,read more

  42. Heidi Thomas


    Call The Midwife, Cranford, Upstairs Downstairs

    A BAFTA and Primetime Emmy nominee, Liverpool-born Thomas has written multiple episodes ofread more

  43. James Moran


    Eve, Torchwood, The Sparticle Mystery

    York-born Moran’s recent credits include The Sparticle Mystery, Crossing Lines, Mina Murray’s Diaryread more

  44. Jeff Young


    Eastenders, Casualty, Holby City

    Young has written over 35 radio and stage plays and loves to write about characters who inhabit “read more

  45. Jimmy Dowdall

    No Offence, Shameless, Survivors

    As well as feature film Twenty8k, Jimmy Dowdall has worked extensively with Paul Abbott, not onlyread more

  46. Joe Ainsworth

    Formby, Merseyside

    Holby City, The Lakes, Mersey Beat

    Ainsworth went from Channel 4 continuing drama Brookside to writing on Jimmy McGovern series Theread more

  47. Laurence Davey

    DCI Banks, Walking The Dead

    Davey has written multiple episodes for BBC’s Waking The Dead, ITV’s DCI Banks and Sky’s Critical.

  48. Mark Ashmore

    Portal, The Lost Generation

    As well as writing, Mark has worked in front and behind the camera. His latest project was the online series Portal.

  49. Mark Catley


    Casualty, Eastenders

    From writing on Holby City, Doctors, Youngers, Call the Midwife and Eastenders, Catley has writtenread more

  50. Mark Gatiss


    The League of Gentleman, Sherlock, Doctor Who

    Bursting into the public consciousness co-writing and performing in The League of Gentlemen, Gatissread more

  51. Matt Greenhalgh


    Nowhere Boy, Cold Feet, Control

    Manchester native Greenhalgh wrote for Clocking Off, Cold Feet and Burn It before moving intoread more

  52. Neil Jones


    Wolfblood, Rocket’s Island, House of Anubis

    As well as writing numerous episodes for Hollyoaks and Brookside, Jones has worked on The Bill, Theread more

  53. Neil McKay


    Londons Burning, Appropriate Adult, The Moorside Project

    McKay’s credits include Appropriate Adult and The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher. He also wrote the 2016read more

  54. Paul Mousley


    Hollyoaks, Bad Girls, Primeval

    With past credits including Waterloo Road, Bad Girls and Primeval, Mousley’s most recent work hasread more

  55. Paul Roundell



    Roundell is a core Emmerdale writer and also wrote the film Bait, which was directed byread more

  56. Peter Harness

    Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me, Wallander

    As well as producing, Harness has written for Doctor Who, Case Histories and Wallander. He adapatedread more

  57. Peter Kay


    Phoenix Nights, Peter Kay’s Car Share, That Peter Kay Thing

    Primarily known for his comedy turns in front of the camera, Kay is also a writer, co-writing hisread more

  58. Peter Straughan


    Wolf Hall, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Men Who Stare at Goats

    Straughan adapted multi-award-winning Wolf Hall for the BBC. He also received a BAFTA, plus anread more

  59. Rachel Tunnard

    Adult Life Skills

    Named as one of BAFTA’s Brits To Watch in 2015, Tunnard’s first feature film, Adult Life Skills,read more

  60. Reece Shearsmith


    Inside No. 9, Psychoville, The League of Gentlemen

    Known in front of the camera for his various comedy roles, Shearsmith is also a scriptwriter,read more

  61. Richard Burke

    Hollyoaks, Grange Hill, Brookside

    Burke is currently one of the top contributors to Hollyoaks having received over 160 commissions,read more

  62. Rob Phillips

    Hollyoaks, The Cornermen

    Phillips is a writer on Hollyoaks and has also been selected for the EastEnders Shadow Scheme,read more

  63. Russell T Davies

    Queer as Folk, Doctor Who, Banana

    Originally from Wales, Russell T Davies has had a long working association with Manchester’s Redread more

  64. Sally Wainwright


    Happy Valley, Last Tango In Halifax, Scott & Bailey

    Wainwright is currently riding high on the success of multi-award-winning dramas Happy Valley,read more

  65. Simon Beaufoy

    Keighley, West Yorkshire

    Slumdog Millionaire, The Full Monty, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

    With credits such as Everest, Slumdog Millionarie and The Full Monty, Beaufoy has penned some ofread more

  66. Stephen Butchard

    The Last Kingdom, Good Cop, Stolen

    With credits including Vincent, Five Daughters, Stolen, Good Cop and House of Saddam, Butchard’sread more

  67. Steve Pemberton


    Inside No. 9, Psychoville, The League of Gentlemen

    Known for his comedy presence in front of the camera, Pemberton is also a prolific scriptwriter,read more

  68. Jimmy McGovern


    Cracker, Brookside, Common

    After writing for Brookside, McGovern created the series Cracker, Banished, Accused, The Street andread more

  69. Steven Fay

    The Mill, River City, Casualty

    Fay, and his co-writer Tony Green, have achieved huge success with transmissions of The Mill Seriesread more

  70. Tony Jordan


    Eastenders, Life On Mars, Hustle

    Southport-born Jordan has written a number of episodes for Eastenders as well as acting as seriesread more

  71. Tony Saint


    Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley, The Interceptor, Strike Back

    The writer of Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk To Finchley, Saint has also written on the BBC TVread more

  72. Karin Young



    A core writer of more than 200 Emmerdale episodes, Young was nominated for a Writers Guild Award inread more

  73. Lee Warburton


    Scott & Bailey, Banana, Shameless

    Also an actor (Coronation Street, Clocking Off), Warburton has been nominated by Red Productionsread more

  74. Luke Barnes

    Minted in Manchester, That Thing That Happened

    Luke has written extensively for theatre and short film and wrote Channel 4’s Minted in Manchester.

  75. Jonathan Harvey


    Coronation Street, Beautiful People, Gimme Gimme Gimme

    Working across drama and comedy, Harvey’s credits include Coronation Street, Gimme Gimme Gimme,read more