Troy Kennedy Martin (1932-2009)

Written by Laurence Boyce on . Posted in Obituary

On a day where celebrities seemed to dropping like flies, it's a shame that the obits for British scriptwriter Troy Kennedy Martin  probably won't be as extensive as they should be. Needless to say the man was a man who had a hand in helping to create and write some of the best UK TV shows ever made including 'Z-Cars' and 'The Sweeney'. His TV shows helped pave the way for intelligent genre fare that were literate and exciting whilst 'Edge of Darkness', currently undergoing a Hollywood remake, remains a highpoint of British television. Aside from TV, he scripted the brilliant ensemble piece Kelly’s Heroes and – perhaps most famously – was responsible for The Italian Job, a film that is famous for lines such as “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” as it was for it’s impressive car chases.

I had the pleasure of meeting him during my time at the Leeds International Film Festival when he came for a special screening of The Italian Job. Some people went to pick him up at his hotel where they were to take him to lunch. Unfortunately he wasn’t there. Unable to find him, they headed to the cinema where they found out he was next door. He had headed to the pub to watch the England football team play an important match. Well, you always have to have your priorities straight. I spoke to him later on, he gave me a signed copy of The Italian Job script and we talked about the game. Not only was he a thoroughly nice person, there was something unassailably cool about standing around talking about a football game with the writer of The Italian Job.

A true innovator of British TV and responsible for one of the most beloved British movies of all time, Troy Kennedy Martin has left an indelible mark on British - and worldwide - culture.

See The Times Obituary HERE

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