Francis Henry Durbridge (About this sound listen (help.info)) (25 November 1912 - 11 April 1998) was an English playwright and author. Durbridge was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, and educated at Bradford Grammar School, where he was encouraged to write by his English teacher. He continued to do so while studying English at Birmingham University. After graduating in 1933, he worked for a short time as a stockbroker's clerk before selling a radio play, Promotion, to the BBC at the age of 21. In 1938, Durbridge created the character Paul Temple, a crime novelist and detective. With Steve Trent, a Fleet Street journalist and later his wife, Temple solved numerous crimes in the glamorous world of the leisured middle classes, first on radio, then in films and, from 1969 to 1971, in a television series. In addition to the Paul Temple series, Durbridge wrote other mysteries for radio and television, many of which were also produced for Dutch, German and Italian television and radio. In the Netherlands Temple was known as Paul Vlaanderen. Durbridge also forged a successful career as a writer for the stage with seven plays, the last of which, Sweet Revenge, was written in 1991. He also wrote forty-three novels, many of which were adapted from his scripts, sometimes with the help of others.
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