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Derek now lives in Pembrokeshire, having moved from Surrey in 2001 to get away from the M25. He is a playwright, screenwriter, poet and author.
He has abridged many dozens of books for Hodder Headline, Random House and Harper Collins among others. These have ranged from Jane Austen to Ruth Rendell. He has dramatised a large number of children's books for audio, including The Minpins by Raold Dahl starring Joss Ackland and Charlotte Cornwell; Esio Trot by Raold Dahl starring Annette Crosbie and Michael Williams; over a dozen Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven stories, and 80 minute dramatisations of children's classics including The Secret Garden, The Railway Children and The Incredible Journey. His retelling of Jonah and the Whale was included on 'The Whales Song and other stories' read by Helena Bonham-Carter for Random House Tellastory.
His first stage play 'Dog Eat Dog' was put on by the South London Theatre in 1998, his second 'Bringing Back the Bluestones' achieved national notoriety through its pre-publicity and was premiered in Pembrokeshire, in 2002. His full length comedy 'Agatha Crusty and the Village Hall Murders' has already notched up dozens of productions, including the USA and Australia, as well as the UK.
He has written several other full length stage plays, including 'Call Me Dusty' which toured in 2013, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the start of Dusty Springfield's career, and ‘The Railway Children Lady’ about the children’s author Edith Nesbit which toured South wales and the South West in 2015.
Many of his one act plays have been published and are regularly produced in the UK, as well as in New Zealand, the US and Australia. He has also written over a dozen radio plays, four of which have been produced.
His screenplays have been shortlisted for the BSSC competition - the largest and most prestigious short screenplay competition in the world. He has also written two full length children's novels - 'The Brainwave Machine' and 'Is' - about a girl who believes she is Isambard Kingdom Brunel reincarnated - which is published by Parthian. He has also written several shorter pieces for younger readers and a series of audio/book packages for children learning to read, called 'Popplejoy and…'