Don Shaw began writing full-time in 1968 and soon became one of Britain's top television writers, with credits including Z-Cars, Dangerfield and Van der Valk. His Wingate trilogy of plays and Bomber Harris both won BAFTAs. He has also written a number of film screenplays.
Don has made many TV appearances, discussing a variety of topics ranging from the Carl Bridgewater murder, the IRA and the Falklands War to the 'Keep Brian Clough at Derby' campaign which he led in 1973. He is still a regular guest on BBC Radio Derby.
Don Shaw is a man of many parts. His pre-writing careers have included a brief stint at Sandhurst, teaching the deaf and acting. He also found time to manage a Grand Prix motor racing team (The British Racing Team) in the seventies, competing in the British, Dutch and Spanish GPs. In 1968 he became a full-time writer, known for programmes such as 'Z-Cars’, ‘Softly Softly’, ‘Dangerfield’, ‘Bomber Harris’, 'Wingate’, 'Danger UXB', 'Crown Court', 'Van der Valk' and ‘Beyond Fear’. He is Visiting Professor in drama at Derby University.
Don has run marathons from the age of 22 and started jogging before it became fashionable. He still runs three miles every day. He drives a sports car (Mercedes SLK Kompressor), and when not hiking follows his other great passion - flying. He has his own aeroplane, a Piper 22.
Married with three children, Don lives in Mickleover, near Derby and London, near Marble Arch. He is a competition judge for the Derby Telegraph, and speaks regularly on Radio Derby and at local events and dinners. He is a patron of the Derby Heritage Development Trust.
Writing and Television Career Don has been a full-time writer for film, stage, radio and TV since 1968. He won his first award (Best TV Drama) for ‘A Question of Honour’, and went on to become one of the top television writers of the 1970s-90s. Other awards include a Bafta for the BBC 2 trilogy of plays ‘Wingate’ in 1976, a Bafta ‘Best Drama’ award for ‘Bomber Harris’ in 1989 and winner of the International Science Film Festival gold award for 'Faraday’s Dream' in 1992.
Actors who have starred in Don’s work include Robert Hardy, John Thaw, Tom Baker, Thora Hird, Donald Sinden, Michael York, Barry Foster, Gwen Taylor, Johnny Lee Miller, Michael Kitchen, Nigel Havers and Nigel le Vaillant.
Don has appeared on television on several occasions:
BBC2 1970s–90s. Studio discussions with Paul Foot and others on the Carl Bridgewater murder – 'Bad Company', with military experts on his trilogy of plays 'Wingate’, with theologians about the Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer – 'True Patriot', TV interviews about his play ' Bomber Harris', and with Ted Dexter and Hugh Mclvanny on the topic of ‘Are we a sporting nation?’ (Don led the 'Keep Brian Clough at Derby' campaign in 1973). Studio discussion on the IRA – 'Are You Dr Herrema?', and his play 'The Falklands Factor' re the war to save the Falklands. Plus other interviews, Midlands TV and radio.
Don also wrote the feature film 'True Blue' story of an internal revolt within the Oxford University Boat Club, directed by Ferdie Fairfax. His Hollywood movie, 'Wingate' directed by Norman Jewison, had to be abandoned on location when the Egyptian army invaded Israel in October,1973. This film had a three hundred million dollar budget (in today's money after inflation).
BBC1 1968-90s. Two BBC Breakfast programmes with Nick Ross re drama series 'The Citadel', a ten-part series that beat 'Coronation Street' for viewing figures.
Train and De-Train (1970) TV episode (writer)
The Devil's Sweets (1970) TV episode (writer)
Re-Entry Forbidden (1970) TV episode (writer)
Beyond Fear (1997) (TV) (writer)
Dangerfield (12 episodes, 1995-1996)
Trial (1996) TV episode (writer)
Behind Closed Doors (1996) TV episode (writer)
SAS Death (1995) TV episode (writer)
The Dead Businessman (1995) TV episode (writer)
Dem Bones (1995) TV episode (writer)
Bad Company (1993) (TV) (writer)
Van der Valk (1 episode, 1991)
Dangerous Games (1991) TV episode (writer)
Bomber Harris (1989) (TV) (writer)
Play for Today (2 episodes, 1972-1983)
The Falklands Factor (1983) TV episode (writer)
Ackerman, Dougall and Harker (1972) TV episode (writer)
The Citadel (10 episodes, 1983)
Part 10 (1983) TV episode (writer)
Part 9 (1983) TV episode (writer)
Part 8 (1983) TV episode (writer)
Part 7 (1983) TV episode (writer)
Part 6 (1983) TV episode (writer)
Hammer House of Horror (1 episode, 1980)
The Mark of Satan (1980) TV episode (teleplay) (writer)
Danger UXB (3 episodes, 1979)
The Pier (1979) TV episode (writer)
Bad Company (1979) TV episode (writer)
Cast Iron Killer (1979) TV episode (writer)
BBC2 Play of the Week (2 episodes, 1977-1978)
Foreign Affairs (1978) TV episode (writer)
True Patriot (1977) TV episode (screenplay)
Rough Justice (1977) TV mini-series (writer)
Survivors (4 episodes, 1976-1977)
Reunion (1977) TV episode (writer)
Mad Dog (1977) TV episode (writer)
Face of the Tiger (1976) TV episode (writer)
Greater Love (1976) TV episode (writer)
Orde Wingate (3 episodes, 1976)
Turn You to the Strong Hold (1976) TV episode (writer)
For the Sword of the Lord and of Gideon (1976) TV episode (writer)
If I Forget Thee O Jerusalem (1976) TV episode (writer)
BBC2 Playhouse (2 episodes, 1976)
Jumbo (1976) TV episode (writer)
Kites (1976) TV episode (script)
Centre Play (1 episode, 1975)
Judge the Bloody City (1975) TV episode (writer)
Crown Court (2 episodes, 1974-1975)
Saboteur (1975) TV episode (writer)
Corruption (1974) TV episode (writer)
No Exit (1972) TV series (unknown episodes)
Trial (1971) TV series (unknown episodes)
Thirty-Minute Theatre (4 episodes, 1969-1971)
Me MacKenna (1971) TV episode (writer)
The Victims: Progressive Blues (1969) TV episode (writer)
The Victims: Frontier (1969) TV episode (writer)
The Victims: A Degree of Stress (1969) TV episode (writer)
The Wednesday Play (1 episode, 1970)
Sovereign's Company (1970) TV episode (writer)
The First Lady (1 episode, 1968)
Worked Out (1968) TV episode (writer)
Dark Secrets (1997) (assistant film editor)
Don Shaw Writer