Peter Ansorge Interview Clip
PETER ANSORGE joined the BBC’s English Regions Drama Department in Birmingham as a script editor and producer. Under David Rose’s innovative regime, he worked on Mike Leigh’s early success ‘Nuts In May’, David Hare’s ‘Licking Hitler’ and Philip Martin’s ‘Gangsters.’ ‘Licking Hitler’ won the Bafta for best drama. In Birmingham, Peter devised and produced the UK’s first black soap opera ‘Empire Road’ written by Michael Abbensetts and starring Norman Beaton.
In 1982 Peter followed David Rose to the UK’s new broadcaster Channel 4 where he became a Commissioning Editor for Fiction and helped to create the Film On 4 strand with Rose and Karin Bamborough. Originally devised to prolong the life of the single fiction TV film, Channel 4′s unique relationship with independent producers led to a raft of iconic British theatrical releases such as ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’, ‘Letter To Brehznev’, ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Four Weddings And A Funeral.’
Subsequently, under Michael Grade’s era at Channel 4, Peter became Head of Drama for television series and serials. His award-winning commissions included ‘A Very British Coup’, ‘Traffik’ (Simon Moore’s television serial on which the Oscar-winning movie ‘Traffic’ is based) , Alan Bleasdale’s ‘GBH’ (described as the UK’s ‘best-ever television drama’ by the Observer newspaper) and ‘Jake’s Progress’. These critically and popularly acclaimed shows were followed by Armistead Maupin’s ‘Tales of the City’, Jimmy McGovern’s ‘Hearts & Minds’, Paula Milne’s ‘The Politician’s Wife’ and Dennis Potter’s ‘Lipstick On Your Collar’.’ His final commission at C4 was Hugh Whitemore’s award-winning adaptation of Anthony Powell’s ‘Dance To The Music Of Time’, starring Simon Russell Beale.
After leaving Channel 4 , Peter developed screenplays for the BBC by Paula Milne, Caryl Phillips and Farrukh Dhondy.
He is currently a producer with Pampaset Productions developing work for television and film from second and third generation black and Asian writers. His stage play ‘Familar Things’ has been optioned by David Aukin Productions.
Peter has written two books on stage and screenwriting, ‘Disrupting The Spectacle’ and ‘From Liverpool To Los Angeles.’ He also teaches screenwriting at the National Film and Television School. Most recently he launched the first ever TV Drama Script Lab in Moscow.
We interviewed Peter at the University of Portsmouth on 7th June 2011. The interviewers were Sally Shaw, Laura Mayne, Justin Smith, Ieuan Franklin and Rachael Keene.