Keith Waterhouse

  • Leeds


Keith Waterhouse was born in 1929 in Leeds, and was a novelist, columnist, playwright and screenwriter.

He started out as a reporter with the Yorkshire Evening Post in 1949 and later wrote for Punch, the Daily Mail, and the Daily Mirror. In 2004 he was voted most admired British contemporary columnist by the British Journalism Review.

Much of his work was jointly written with his lifelong friend Willis Hall, who died in 2005.

His novels include Billy Liar (1959), a book which went on to become a play, film starring Tom Courtenay, musical and television series; The Bucket Shop (1968); Our Song (1988); Bimbo (1990); Good Grief (1997); and Palace Pier (2003).

His writing for television includes series of That Was the Week that Was, The Frost Report, Andy Capp and Worzel Gummidge. With Willis Hall, he wrote many books based on the Worzel Gummidge series. In the 1960s and '70s particularly, he was a prolific playwright, and his plays include Celebration (1961), England, Our England (1963), Come Laughing Home (1966), Who's Who (1974), Children's Day (1975), and Whoops-a-Daisy (1978). His production, Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell (1991), about the life of the journalist, won the 1990 Evening Standard Award for Comedy of the Year.

Keith Waterhouse is also the author of several non-fiction books, among them The Theory and Practice of Lunch (1986) and Waterhouse on Newspaper Style (1989).

His two books of autobiography are City Lights: A Street Life (1994) and its sequel, Streets Ahead: Life After City Lights (1995).


The Book of Useless Information
Good Grief
Our Song
Good Grief
Streets Ahead: Life after City Lights
City Lights: A Street Life
Our Song
Sharon and Tracy and the rest: the best of Keith Waterhouse in the Daily Mail
English, Our English : And How to Sing it
Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell
Unsweet Charity
Waterhouse on Newspaper Style
The Theory and Practice of Travel
Worzel Gummidge Down Under
The Collected Letters of a Nobody
The Theory and Practice of Lunch
Waterhouse at Large
Worzel Gummidge
Worzel Gummidge
The Irish Adventures of Worzel Gummidge
Fanny Peculiar
In the Mood
Worzel's Birthday
Maggie Muggins, or Spring in Earl's Court
Worzel Gummidge at the Fair
Worzel Gummidge Goes to the Seaside
The Trials of Worzel Gummidge
More Television Adventures of Worzel Gummidge
The Television Adventures of Worzel Gummidge
Rhubarb, Rhubarb, and other noises
Billy Liar on the Moon
Children's Day
Who's Who
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
The Bucket Shop
Writers' Theatre
Come Laughing Home
Say Who You Are
All Things Bright and Beautiful
The Sponge Room/Squat Betty
England, Our England
Billy Liar
Billy Liar
There is a Happy Land


Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy of the Year
Sunday Express Book of the Year
BAFTA (Best British Screenplay)
BAFTA (Best British Screenplay)
BAFTA (Best British Screenplay)