Michael J Bird Tribute Website

The YTV Years

in the 1980s

In the early 1980s Michael Bird's television career was at its height and his work was in great demand. His friend David Cunliffe, who had directed episodes of The Lotus Eaters, became Head of Drama at Yorkshire Television and wanted Bird to write for him ...

1983

Takes you to 'The Outsider' setion of the website

Click the picture for a in-depth look at the series

The Outsider

The Outsider (1983) was quite a departure from Bird's BBC creations - although it did reprise the theme of undisclosed parentage, first aired in Who Pays The Ferryman? and which he used again two years later, to great effect, in Maelstrom.

Filmed in the beautiful Yorkshire market-town of Knaresborough, which became the fictional 'Micklethorpe', The Outsider centred on the lives of those connected with production of a local newspaper, and the uncovering of some murky skeletons. It was Independent Television's primetime drama offering on Friday evenings for six weeks in the Autumn of 1983 ... more

1985

Takes you to 'The Winning Streak' section of the website

Click the picture for a in-depth look at the series

THE WINNING STREAK

Bird's next creation for YTV The Winning Streak (1985) was a six part series about the fortunes and conflicting loyalties in a wealthy Yorkshire family. The action took place against a background of Rally Driving and the family's Motor Business.

Although Michael Bird created the series, which was produced by Michael Glynn, producer of The Lotus Eaters , Bird did not write the scripts. He was too busy ... more

1986

Takes you to 'West of Paradise' page on the website

Click the picture for a in-depth look at the film

West of Paradise

West of Paradise (1986) marked Bird's return to exotic locations. This time it was the Seychelles. Bird and his wife, Olive, had undertaken the usual reconnaissance (a holiday in the Seychelles - nice work if you can get it!) and he wrote:

"They take 'gris-gris', the local form of voodoo, very seriously in the Seychelles. Officially it is frowned on and regular attempts are made to stamp it out but without success. Not surprising really since most of the police are firm believers in it. And having seen 'gris-gris' in action, this fascinating aspect of life on the islands coupled with the uninhibited charm and tolerance of the Seychelles and the outstanding beauty of this tiny country, which, against all the odds, still somehow manages to survive, made it an irresistible setting for a story so far as I was concerned."

The film was directed by David Cunliffe and produced by Michael Glynn and the YTV publicity machine made much of it "re-uniting the Bird-Cunliffe-Glynn combination that produced the successful series The Lotus Eaters." (It didn't make quite so much of the fact that The Lotus Eaters had been a BBC production!)

Unfortunately the Birds were unable to return to the Seychelles for the filming. Just before they were due to leave Michael was diagnosed diabetic and wasn't well enough to travel. They sent their son and his wife in their place ... more

1988

Takes you to the 'Out of the Shadows' section of the website

Click the picture for a in-depth look at the film

Out of the Shadows

Out of the Shadows (1988) was the last Michael J Bird script to be produced, and it is a shame it did not represent a better swan song.

Unusually it was not an original story but an adaptation of an existing book, and inevitably there was a story behind Bird getting involved ... more


Michael J Bird Tribute Website

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