Dr Lez Cooke

Personal profile

I have been researching and writing about television drama since 2000 when I had a sabbatical to research the history of British television drama while working as a Principal Lecturer in Media Studies at Staffordshire University. That research was published three years later: British Television Drama: A History (BFI, 2003).

After 11 years at Staffordshire University I left to do doctoral research on regional television drama at Manchester Metropolitan University, as part of the AHRB-funded project Cultures of British Television Drama, 1960-82, in association with Reading University and Royal Holloway. My PhD on Television Drama in the English Regions, 1956-82 was completed in 2007 and published five years later by Manchester University Press: A Sense of Place: Regional British Television Drama, 1956-82 (MUP, 2012).

While doing the PhD I was also researching and writing a book on the screenwriter Troy Kennedy Martin, a project I had begun in 1986 when I wrote a dissertation on Kennedy Martin as part of an MA in Film Studies at the Polytechnic of Central London. The book was published as part of Manchester University Press’s Television Series: Troy Kennedy Martin (MUP, 2007).

I was appointed as a Research Associate (0.6) in the Department of Contemporary Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2006, upgraded to Research Fellow (0.6) from 2007-10, during which time I was Book Review Editor for Critical Studies in Television. I also co-edited, with Robin Nelson, an issue of Critical Studies in Television on ‘Television Archives: Accessing TV History’ (5/2, Autumn 2010).

In January 2011 I was appointed Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway and began writing an AHRC application, with John Hill, for a 3-year project on ‘Forgotten TV Drama’. In 2012 I was employed on a 0.3 contract at Royal Holloway to work on the EUscreen project and in April 2013 I was appointed Research Fellow (0.2) while completing a book on Style in British Television Drama (Palgrave, 2013).

Since September 2013 I have been Senior Research Officer in the Department of Media Arts at Royal Holloway, working on the AHRC-funded project, ‘The History of Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ with Professor John Hill and Dr Billy Smart.

In April 2015 a second edition of British Television Drama: A History (BFI/Palgrave, 2015) was published.

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