novelist and playwright, educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He worked as a humorous columnist for the Manchester Guardian, then for the Observer. His novels include The Russian Interpreter (1966); Towards the End of the Morning (1967), a comedy of Fleet Street life and London middle‐class domestic mores; A Very Private Life (1968), a satiric anti‐Utopian fantasy; Sweet Dreams (1973); The Trick of It (1989); A Landing on the Sun (1991); Headlong (1999); and Spies (2002). His stage comedies include Alphabetical Order (1975, pub. 1976); Donkey's Years (1976, pub. 1977), based on a college reunion; Noises Off (1982), a farce of theatre life; Benefactors (1984); and Wild Honey (pub. 1984, perf. 1986), adapted from an untitled play by Chekhov. Copenhagen (1998) is a tense, lucid drama about the unexplained meeting in occupied Denmark of German physicist Werner Heisenberg and his Danish mentor, Niels Bohr. Democracy (2003) is a drama based on the career of German Chancellor Willy Brandt.