David Benedictus

Non-fiction writer, Novelist

David Benedictus was educated at Eton, Balliol College, Oxford, and the State University of Iowa; his first job was as a tutor to the Rothschilds. His first novel was The Fourth of June, about Eton, which he also adapted for the stage (St Martin’s Theatre). His second novel, You’re a Big Boy Now, was filmed in New York by Francis Coppola. Dropping Names, published in 2005, was a collection of memoirs. In between, he has written some 25 books equally divided between fiction and non-fiction.

David worked for the BBC as a reporter on Radio Newsreel, then as story editor and director on the Wednesday Play. He has presented Kaledioscope and served as a panellist on a dozen Any Questions programmes. He later initiated Something Understood for Radio 4, and became Editor of Readings for BBC Radio (1989-1995). He has also produced music programmes for Radio 2, including a series on film music.

For Channel 4, he was a commissioning editor for drama and commissioned numerous series including Porterhouse Blue and The Manageress. He was antiques correspondent for the Evening Standard, a tour guide for Original London Walks and has worked as an arts critic for many newspapers and magazines. He dramatised Little Sir Nicholas for BBC television. Occasional acting has included playing the corpse of the plutocrat Harry Oakes for Channel 4’s Murder in Paradise.

For the last 19 years, he has been writing and publishing Uncle Ernie’s System, (38 editions), a guide to horse-racing. He has taught at numerous drama schools, and more recently at Putney High School, Menorah School, Burnt Oak, and Corpus Christi, Oxford. Divorced with four children, his hobbies include piano playing (inept), chess playing (not so bad) and croquet (social).

David Benedictus

Fellowships

Goldsmiths, University of London 2007/08