Francis Beckett

Winner of the 2009 Ted Wragg Award for sustained contribution to educational journalism, with Sue Rossiter, chief executive of the National Foundation for Educational rsearch, and Justin Shaw, director of the education practice at Communications Management.Francis Beckett is an author, journalist, broadcaster, playwright and contemporary historian.

His nineteen books include biographies of four Prime Ministers, and he edited a series of 20 biographies, Prime Ministers of the Twentieth Century.

His latest play The London Spring enjoyed a three week London fringe run early in 2012.

Other plays include Money Makes You Happy (2008) and The Right Honourable Lady (2009), which had successful London fringe runs and are published by Samuel French. The Sons of Catholic Gentlemen won the Independent Radio Drama Productions award, and Claim and Shame, a specially commissioned play about the MPs’ expenses scandal, was produced at the Theatre 503.

Francis Beckett is the editor of Third Age Matters, the national magazine published by the University of the Third Age, and writes for national newspapers and magazine.

He graduated in history and philosophy from the University of Keele in 1969 and was one member of that year’s-two-man debating team sent to tour the USA by the English-Speaking Union.

He has been president of the National Union of Journalists and has worked on national newspapers and magazines, as well as for trade unions and for the Labour Party.