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John Tydeman OBE 09

John Tydeman OBE It is with sadness that we report the passing of John Tydeman OBE on 1 April 2020. John was a huge supporter of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, joining the Board of Trustees from 1998 until 2010. Born 30 March 1936, John was a prolific theatre director and producer of radio plays.

Joining the BBC in 1969, he commissioned and directed the early plays of Tom Stoppard, Caryl Churchill and Joe Orton, and became Head of BBC Radio Drama in 1986 until 1994. He commissioned and directed Sue Townsend’s first ‘Mole’ script, when the title character was called Nigel (The Diary of Nigel Mole Aged 13¾). On first reading the script, he wrote to Townsend on 30 April 1981, declaring ‘I am sure there is a lot of mileage in MOLE and that there could be sequels’, signing his letter ‘John Tydeman Aged 29 and 364 days’; Townsend went on to become the bestselling author of the 1980s in terms of individual books, and John even became a character in the Mole novels.

Awarded an OBE in 2002, John was also honoured with the Radio Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

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