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Robert ShearmanBorn: Tue 10th February 1970 (age: 43)
An established theatrical playwright, Shearman has worked with Alan Ayckbourn, had a play produced by Francis Ford Coppola, and has received several international awards for his work in theatre. Award-winning plays include Fool to Yourself, which premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1997, and which won the inaugural Sophie Winter Memorial Trust Award, 'Easy Laughter', (Sunday Times Playwriting Award), 'Coupling', (World Drama Trust Award), 'Binary Dreamers', (Guinness Award for Theatre Ingenuity, in association with the Royal National Theatre). In 1993 he was made resident dramatist at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter, the youngest playwright to be honoured by the Arts Council in this way, and for them he wrote a series of plays, including his controversial comic fable about God living in suburbia, 'Breaking Bread Together', which later was revived in London. His association with his mentor, Alan Ayckbourn, has been particularly fruitful, with 'White Lies', 'About Colin', and 'Knights in Plastic Armour' proving especially popular.
His association with Doctor Who began with a play written for BBV Audios, Punchline, in which Sylvester McCoy played the Dominie, a disguised version of the Seventh Doctor. This was penned under the pseudonym "Jeremy Leadbetter" (the name of a character from the popular BBC sitcom The Good Life). Several audio plays for Big Finish followed, The Holy Terror, The Chimes of Midnight and Jubilee all winning best audio drama in the Doctor Who Magazine polls of their respective years.
Shearman wrote the television episode "Dalek" for the 2005 series of Doctor Who produced by Russell T Davies for the BBC. This was, at Davies' request, a re-working of the themes introduced by Shearman's earlier Big Finish audio play Jubilee. "Dalek" was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form in 2006, and came in second in terms of votes for its category.