Mike Phillips was born in Georgetown, Guyana. He came to Britain as a child, and went to school and university in London. He worked for a number of newspapers, the BBC World Service, and on domestic television between 1972 and 1983 on television programmes including ‘The Late Show’ and ‘Omnibus’, before becoming a lecturer in media studies at the University of Westminster.
He has written full-time since 1992. He is best known for his crime fiction, including four novels featuring black journalist Sam Dean: Blood Rights (1989), which was adapted for BBC television, The Late Candidate (1990), winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger Award, Point of Darkness (1994) and An Image to Die For (1995).
The Dancing Face (1998) is a thriller centred on a priceless Benin mask. His novel, A Shadow of Myself (2000), is about a black documentary filmmaker working in Prague and a man who claims to be his brother.
Mike co-wrote Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain (1998) to accompany a BBC television series telling the story of the Caribbean migrant workers who settled in post-war Britain. His book, London Crossings: A Biography of Black Britain (2001), is a series of interlinked essays and stories, a portrait of the city seen from locations as diverse as New York and Nairobi, London and Lodz, Washington and Warsaw.