John Yorke created and ran the BBC Writers Academy, one of the most successful and influential programmes for screen writers. He has also published a book on screenwriting “Into the Woods”.
John Yorke was also Managing Director of Company Pictures, the UK drama independent, producing shows as varied as Shameless, Skins, The White Queen and Wolf Hall.
As a Commissioning Editor and Executive Producer, he championed many of the defining works of British television, including Life on Mars, The Street, Shameless and Waterloo Road. As both Head of Channel Four Drama and Controller of BBC Drama Production, his CV encompasses big popular works like Hustle, Spooks, Casualty and Holby City alongside award-winners such as Bodies, Omagh, Sex Traffic, Not Only But Always and The Curse of Steptoe.
His television career began in story-lining EastEnders during its very first BAFTA-winning year, a relationship that lasted 16 years. Since then he has worked with a vast array of talent, from Paul Greengrass and Paul Abbott to Tony Jordan and Jimmy McGovern, making him uniquely placed to watch, learn and analyse the work of the finest writers in British television.
In 2005, John created the BBC Writers Academy, the only writing course in the world guaranteeing broadcast work and which has produced a generation of successful television writers. He is Visiting Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He lives and works in London.