Behind the Scenes

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Paul Abbott

Paul Abbott (born 22 February 1960) is an English television screenwriter and producer. When he was nine his mother left home to pursue a relationship with another man. His father, left two years later. Abbott and his many siblings were in the care of their pregnant seventeen-year-old sister. Although a compulsive truant, Abbott cites his English teacher at Barden High School as an early positive influence.
Age 11 he was raped by a stranger, leading to him jumping from the roof of a multi-story car park in an attempt to take his own life. Two years later after another suicide attempt he was sectioned into an adult mental hospital for a short while, later becoming a voluntary patient. On his release, he was taken into foster care. He attended a local Sixth Form College and started attending Burnley Writers' Circle. Abbott enrolled at the University of Manchester in 1980 to study psychology but decided to leave to concentrate on writing when a radio play was accepted by the BBC.
Abbott has become one of the most critically and commercially successful television writers working in Britain today, following his work on many popular series, including Coronation Street, Cracker and Shameless, the last of which he created. He is also responsible for the creation of some of the most highly acclaimed television dramas of the 1990s and 2000s, including Reckless and Touching Evil for ITV and Clocking Off and State of Play for the BBC.