Alan Plater, novelist and screenwriter has died, aged 75. I saw him a couple of years ago when he did a talk at our local literature festival, and he was every bit as charming in the flesh as you would imagine someone would be who could create characters like Trevor Chaplin and Jill Swinburne, not to mention Big Al and Little Norm.
He was a very skillful writer, and a great example of that very British, understated, whimsical humour that is all about character and voice and dialogue. The Beiderbecke trilogy were great examples of gentle British humour, but not without some bite. Produced in the eighties, they are excoriating about Thatcher and the selfish society that is her legacy.
So long then, petal.