Francis Durbridge was one of Britain's most popular crime novelists and playwrights. Born in Hull, he was educated at Bradford and read English at Birmingham University. His first play, 'Promotion', was broadcast by the BBC in 1933. Encouraged by its success he was asked to contribute further plays. 'Send For Paul Temple' proved so popular that the BBC received 7,000 letters asking for more. 'The Adventures of Paul Temple' ran for over 30 years.
In 1969 BBC Television, having just started broadcasting in color, commissioned Durbridge to write a 26-part series of Paul Temple starring Francis Matthews.
It was not until 1971 that Durbridge wrote his first thriller directly for the theatre. The play, 'Suddenly at Home' (the title was taken from the death notice column of The Times newspaper) starred Gerald Harper and Penelope Keith and was a huge success in London's West End.
Durbridge also wrote 'Murder With Love' (1976), 'House Guest' (1980) and 'Fatal Encounter' (1996). Critics were apt to dismiss his plays, but the public did not. Durbridge himself said: 'My thrillers are not so much who dunnits as will-he-get-away-with-its.'