Hunter Davies, prolific author, journalist and broadcaster who is perhaps best known for writing the only authorised biography of 'The Beatles', is 75 today.
Hunter was born in Scotland to Scottish parents, moved to Carlisle when he was 11 and went to University in Durham and then worked as a journalist. In 1965 he wrote the novel 'Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush' that was quickly made into a film.
He raised the idea of a biography of 'The Beatles' with Paul McCartney who liked the idea of the book and advised him to obtain the approval of Brian Epstein. He agreed to it and the resulting authorised biography, 'The Beatles', was published in 1968.
He went on to :
* in 1972, write what is widely regarded as one of the best ever books about football, 'The Glory Game', a behind the scenes portrait of Tottenham Hotspur.
* in 1974, was sent by the 'Sunday Times' to look at a comprehensive school in action, wrote 3 articles and then stayed on at the school, Creighton School in North London, to watch and study through a year in its life and the result was a book, 'The Creighton Report', published in 1976.
* has written a biography of the hill walker Alfred Wainwright and many works about the topography and history of the Lake District.
* for children has written the 'Ossie', 'Flossie Teacake' and 'Snotty Bumstead' series of novels.
* as a ghostwriter, has worked on the autobiographies of footballers Wayne Rooney, Paul Gascoigne and Dwight Yorke.
Here he locks horns with Albert Goldman in 1989, who had just brought out a controversial biography of John Lennon. It is worth skipping the first part with Goldman and go to Hunter half way through, where he appears as the charming old Briton that he is.
P.P.S. A nostalgic Beatles collage :