How did I get here?

Portrait of Glen Laker

For 20 years, I sat in offices and wrote movie scripts (mainly horror and sci fi) in my lunch hour and evenings. It wasn’t until after I’d watched my fifth commissioned feature film die in development hell that I belatedly realised the UK doesn’t have much of a film industry and I should try my hand at writing some telly instead.

20 years. My teachers at school always said I wasn’t the brightest bulb in the… whatever-it-is-a-bulb-goes-in.

The Red Planet Prize

So back in 2012, I wrote this 60-minute pilot script for a crime drama. I didn’t think anybody would read it. The script was inspired by the crime shows I grew up watching, shows like Prime Suspect and Cracker. I had no idea what I was doing, I’d never written a TV script before. But I did know what an opening scene was, that a mid-point came around halfway and that as long as it ended with good cliffhanger, the reader would surely want to know what happens next. At least I hoped they would.

Once the script was finished, I sent it to a few agents, but didn’t hear back. Then I saw someone on Twitter talking about the Red Planet Prize. So I entered the script and waited for the rejection email.

Well, I got through the first round. Next up was the long-list. I waited for the email. Maybe this time I’d make it to the second round. But the email never came.

So I’d already gone through the five stages of grief when, a month later, I received the surprise (and, I assumed, mistakenly sent) email telling me I was on the short list. I phoned them to check and it turned out the organisers had forgotten to contact me about the long list. I made the final eight.

Holby And Beyond

The script then got me onto the Holby City Writers Scheme and months later, on the morning of my birthday, I got a phone call from the BBC asking if I was available to write an episode of the show.

It’s been a busy few years since. In 2015 and 2016, I wrote on two series of VERA for ITV. I loved writing Vera. Around the same time, I worked on the second series of ITV’s World War 2 drama HOME FIRES. Then in early 2016, I signed up to adapt Lynda La Plante’s bestseller TENNISON into the six-part series PRIME SUSPECT 1973 for ITV and PBS Masterpiece. How nuts is that? Just two years before, I’d been fixing computers for a living, feeling foolish for still harbouring dreams of one day being a full-time writer.

Fast forward to today. I’m currently lead writer on an 8-part thriller, PONIES, which is shooting next year. I also wrote episode five of ITV’s medical drama GOOD KARMA HOSPITAL, broadcast on Easter Sunday 2020.

Earlier in 2020, I had my first green-lit project, THE CHELSEA DETECTIVE, a new crime drama from Expectation, Acorn and BBC Studios, which is shooting in 2021.

A box! I think a bulb goes in a box.

Vera – Tuesday’s Child – ITV 7th August 2020

My second attempt at a Vera episode, Tuesday’s Child, is being repeated on ITV on Friday 7th August. I hope you enjoy it. I like how it all turned out. In France, the episode is called “L’homme des cavernes”, which coincidentally is also the name of my favourite aftershave.

Good Karma Hospital S03E05

I wrote episode 5 of the third series of GOOD KARMA HOSPITAL for Tiger Aspect and ITV. Really enjoyed working on the show. Alas, I didn’t get to visit the Sri Lanka set, but they did send me some nice photos of the beach. The team behind the show were brilliant. The episode takes place during Diwali and features deaf teenagers who turn up at the Good Karma Hospital, but as always, everything is not as it first appears. Hope you enjoy!

Good Karma Hospital

Prime Suspect 1973 – TV Times Review

Prime Suspect 1973 makes the Pick of the day in all the TV magazines, including this brilliant review in the TV Times. Phew! Starts ITV, Thursday 2nd March at 9pm.

TV Times Review

Prime Suspect 1973 – TV Times Review

Tennison – Prime Suspect 1973

Well, this is some exciting news. As production has now wrapped, I’m allowed to let the cat out of the bag. For the last few months, I’ve been locked in the shed scripting the six-part adaptation of Lynda LaPlante’s bestseller “Tennison” for ITV. An amazing cast includes Stefanie Martini, Sam Reid, Alun Armstrong, Blake Harrison and Ruth Sheen. It is the prequel to Prime Suspect. Set in 1973, it follows Jane Tennison in her first year as a WPC. On your telly boxes some time in 2017…

Home Fires Series 2

Home Fires series 2 begins on April 3rd, 8pm on ITV. I wrote on the series, which was really enjoyable. Brilliant characters to write and a wonderful cast to write for. 

  

Vera Series 6 ep 2 Reviews

Wowsers. Pick of the day in What’s On TV, TV Times and Radio Times. Five star review too, for Tuesday’s Child, episode 2 of Vera series 6.