Don Haworth:

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(For the sake of clarity I am showing the narratation in italics, the interviewer's comments in bold italics, and Don's words in ordinary type.)

DH: I'd always wanted to write, and it was while I was making a documentary film, about casinos as it happened, I told what seemed to me to be a funny story to a chap I was working with. He said "Why don't you write this as a radio play?"

I'd no idea how to write a radio play, but I'd two evenings free and I scribbled it down, sent it in, and improbably, it was produced. Even more improbably, it was nominated for the Italia Prize.

    As his accent indicates, Don Haworth comes from Lancashire; born in Bacup, 1924. Today you meet a small, quiet, modest man; one with a shrewd eye and a vivid turn of phrase. After his service with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War he set about becoming a writer, and Don has ranged successfully from journalism to award-winning TV documentary, and from Hollywood to the London stage, but it is the radio play, which he took up so accidentally, which has become the core of Don Haworth's work.

    I wanted to know first about the special difficulties which the radio writer has to contend with.

DH: The main constraint is that it is really not possible to suggest physical action in radio; people running up and down steps, banging doors and jumping into cars.

No sense, really, can be made of that on radio, but it has this great virtue whicha boy once said, when he was asked... that he preferred radio to television becasue the backgrounds were better.

It's possible to do things on many, many different sets; things constantly in motion from location to location; not people moving physically; there's a problem with that; but simply changing the location with words.

People then see the location in their own imagination, which is far more satisfactory. The listener really does half the work; it's a cooperative act of the writer, the producer, the actors, then of the listener; and each listener makes the play again in his own image.

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