Honorary degree for screenwriter Paul Abbott
Screenwriter and Producer, Paul Abbott will be awarded an honorary degree by Keele University during the University's winter graduation ceremonies on Thursday, 22 January.
Paul - who will be awarded a honorary degree of Doctor of Letters - began his career when his first script was spotted by Alan Bennett and commissioned for BBC Radio 4. His television writing career then began when Paul was headhunted by Granada Television in 1983, who employed him as a script editor and then writer for the well-known television series Coronation Street. In 1988 he went on to co-create the drama series Children’s Ward which ran for ten years.
In the mid-1990s he was involved with the second series of Cracker, as producer and then script-writer. However, it was Abbott’s creations Touching Evil, in 1997 starring Robson Green, Reckless and Butterfly Collectors, that established him as a leading contemporary television writer. His first award came in 2000 when Clocking Off received a BAFTA for ‘Best Drama Series’, with personal recognition for Paul’s excellent writing. Following this came Linda Green, Alibi and The Secret World of Michael Fry. In 2003 the acclaimed series State of Play brought him to the attention of Hollywood, where it was remade as a movie, starring Russell Crowe.
In 2004 came the multi award winning semi-autobiographical series Shameless, which ran for eleven series in the UK and was remade in the US, starring William H Macy. Shameless earned Abbott the ‘Dennis Potter Award for Outstanding Writing in Television’ in 2006.
Paul went on to create Exile and Hit & Miss, and in 2015 his highly anticipated self-penned series No Offence will be broadcast on Channel 4.
He has won an Emmy, two Royal Television Society awards, two Writers’ Guild of Great Britain awards, two Broadcasting Press Guild awards and two BAFTAs.