London‐born actor turned novelist, studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. His first novel, At the Jerusalem (1967), was a pioneering example of what was to become the ‘old‐people's‐home’ genre. Other works include Trespasses (1970, whose hero attempts to survive his wife's suicide); A Distant Likeness (1973, the story of a policeman unnerved by his own violent impulses); Peter Smart's Confessions (1977); and Old Soldiers (1980), which describes the interwoven London odysseys of two very different old men. Gabriel's Lament (1986) is the story of Gabriel Harvey and his vexed relationship with his elderly, priapic, and racist father, Oswald, and his vanished young mother. Gabriel reappears in Sugar Cane (1993) as joint confessor to the tales of a youth caught up in a Dickensian underworld of rent boys. Uncle Rudolf (2002) is narrated by the eponymous hero's nephew, who is rescued by his uncle from fascist Romania. His other publications include An English Madam: The Life and Work of Cynthia Payne (1982), the biography of a brothel keeper, and An Immaculate Mistake (1990, memoirs).