playwright, born and educated in Liverpool. His stage plays include Having a Ball (1981), a comedy set in a vasectomy clinic, Are You Lonesome Tonight? (1985), about the singer Elvis Presley, and On the Ledge (National Theatre, 1993), which is dramatically staged in a tower block with rioters below. He is perhaps best known for his TV work, which includes Boys From the Blackstuff (1982), about a group of unemployed men in Liverpool, and G.B.H. (1991), a seven‐part serial about corrupt left‐wing local politics. His streetwise Liverpool lad, Scully, first emerged on BBC Radio 4, then on TV in 1984.