John Stevenson, British screenwriter, Died at 86


John Stevenson: British Screenwriter and Coronation Street Veteran

John Stevenson (10 May 1937 – 5 September 2023) was a highly regarded British screenwriter, notably known for his significant contributions to Britain’s longest-running soap opera, Coronation Street.

Early Life: John Stevenson was born in Manchester in 1937. He pursued higher education at the London School of Economics and initially embarked on a career as a newspaper journalist. Stevenson’s early writing experiences included a stint at the Oldham Evening Chronicle from 1958 to 1964, and later, as an entertainment journalist and theatre critic for the Daily Mail, stationed in Manchester.

Television Writing Career: Stevenson transitioned into screenwriting, influenced by a pilot sitcom called “Her Majesty’s Pleasure,” shown to him by producer Peter Eckersley. This opportunity led to his involvement in the show from 1968 to 1969, where he collaborated with Leslie Duxbury. Throughout the 1970s, Stevenson continued his journey in comedy writing, showcasing his talent in notable productions such as “The Last of the Baskets” and “How’s Your Father?” In the 1980s, he co-wrote the popular comedy-drama “Brass” with Julian Roach. Stevenson’s extensive career also featured the creation of the sitcom “Mother’s Ruin” in 1994, starring Roy Barraclough, although it had a brief run due to lower ratings.

However, it was Stevenson’s enduring association with Coronation Street that truly defined his career. Commencing in 1976, he made substantial contributions to the soap opera, writing for an impressive 447 episodes over the span of thirty years.

Personal Life and Legacy: In his personal life, Stevenson married Barbara Sutcliffe in 1957, with whom he had two children before their eventual divorce. He later married Sheila McGregor in 1977, but this marriage also ended in divorce. Finally, he found enduring companionship with Myra Davies, whom he married in 1985. Together, they had three children and remained united until Stevenson’s passing.

John Stevenson’s creative brilliance enriched the world of television, particularly in the domain of British drama and comedy. His legacy continues to influence the entertainment industry, leaving an indelible mark in the hearts of those who appreciated his work. Stevenson passed away on 5 September 2023, at the age of 86, after battling complications from Alzheimer’s disease.