Hazel Adair's Biography

Hazel Adair (born 1920) was a pioneer of British soap operas. She began her career as an actress in the films My Brother Jonathan (1948) and Lady Precious Stream (1950), before turning her attention to writing scripts for radio and television. Together with Ronald Marriott she wrote the Stranger from Space (1951–53) television series, about an alien from Mars who befriends a boy on Earth, and with Peter Ling scripts for Mrs Dale's Diary. Adair and Ling went on to create the Compact and Crossroads series, and she also wrote for programmes such as Champion House and episodes of Doctor Who. As an original writer on Emergency – Ward 10 in the 1950s she wrote the first black and white kiss on world television (a year before Star Trek), the first main black actor and first unmarried mother in a soap in Compact, and the first black family to be included in the regular cast of a British soap in Crossroads.Adair was joint head of the Writer's Guild with Denis Norden and called a six-week strike in the 1960s, which persuaded Lew Grade to agree to minimum wages and royalties for British writers. In the 1960s she wrote the Bob Monkhouse movie Dentist on the Job, which was used by Monty Python as a beginning to a celebration box set in 2009. In the 1970s she ventured into producing and directing films such as Virgin Witch (1971) and Game for Vultures (1979) with Richard Harris and Joan Collins. She also produced sex comedies such as Clinic Exclusive (1971), Can You Keep It Up For a Week? (1974), and Keep It Up Downstairs (1976).

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