Michael E Briant

Last updated 09 January 2020

Michael E Briant
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Michael Edwin Briant

Born: Saturday 14th February 1942 (age: 82)


Michael E. Briant (born in Bournemouth, Hampshire, England) is best known as a British television director, but he is also a producer and actor.

Briant went full time to the Italia Conti Stage School in Archer Street, London W1 when he was 12. Three months later he gave his first professional performance as an elf and a rainbow child at the Royal Festival Hall. The following year he played the lead Crispian.

As a child/young actor he worked extensively in the theaters, film and television - touring for Carl Clopet, regularly appearing at Bromley Rep and playing leads in many television productions. In his teens he became an ASM and played several roles at the Little Theater - Great Yarmouth.

He married the French actress Monique Pillier and now has two children Veronique and Laurent.

When Michael was 21 he joined the BBC as an AFM in Drama department and a year later became a Production Assistant. At 23 he took the Directors Course and whilst still on the staff as a PA directed series like Newcomers, Z Cars & Doctor Who. After 3 years of bouncing between PA and Director. Ronnie Marsh - head of Serials offered him a years worth of directing work and he became a freelance TV drama director.

During his time on Doctor Who, he directed six serials, including three fondly-remembered adventures The Sea DevilsThe Green Death and his personal favourite The Robots of Death, which was also his last involvement with the series. However, he is most proud of his subsequent direction of the BBC drama series Secret Army for which he directed episodes between 1978 and 1979. He later directed four of the six episodes of its sequel, Kessler and the thriller series Blood Money in which he cast many of the actors from Secret Army, before moving to the Netherlands to direct television there. 

He won an Emmy for directing A Tale of Two Cities for which he also wrote the adaptation. After considerable success directing many shows for Gerard Glaister he formed a production company Linked Ring Films and produced and directed the feature, Tangiers (1985).

A single production in the Netherlands led to a stream of work in Amsterdam where he introduced the British methods of making Drama and Situation Comedy. All his productions in Aalsmere won awards including Best Drama.

In order to fulfill a lifetime ambition he set sail in his own yacht and with a camera in one hand and a sextant in the other proceeded to make a circumnavigation in between other directing assignments. The film he shot during the voyage became the very popular series Blue Water Destinations and Blue Water Cruising. He now has his own edit and dubbing facility as well as digital cameras and sound equipment.