The Men From The Ministry

Edward Taylor

A Brief Biography

This biography of Edward Taylor was originally written in Finnish,
and posted on Simo Sjöblom's Knalli ja sateenvarjo web site.
Translated by Erik Tobias Wiik.

It is hard to find information on Edward Taylor, and so the following tidbits are from a self-written letter we received at Christmas, 1998.

Edward Taylor was born on Feb 24th 1931 in Thorpe Bay, Essex, England. He went to school at Southend High School, after which he got a Bachelor degree from Cambridge University. Prior to university, he served in the RAF for 2 years.

At Cambridge University, Edward Taylor devoted all his free time (and some more too) to writing and journalism. He became an assistant with the university newspaper. At the same time, he performed with the Marlowe Society, the Amateur Dramatic Club, and the famous Footlights Revue Club.

In 1955, he inaugurated his script for the Footlights Revue with the play "Between the Lines," (which had a huge audience on London). The play was performed for a full month at London's Scala Theatre.

Following the show's success, Edward Taylor was offered a job by the BBC. He signed a year-long contract and became one of the BBC's assistant producers. During this training year, he honed his skills and then joined the BBC's permanent staff. Edward Taylor then worked for the BBC for the next 36 years, until health reasons forced him to stop. He would have continued, but the BBC's tight regulations on employee health didn't allow him to do so. Continuing to do work for the BBC, he operated freelance on a show- by-show contract.

All in all, Edward Taylor worked as the writer for 2410 radio programs. Included in these programs are the radio shows, "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again," which started John Cleese's career. John Cleese is now the writer and creator for the English radio program, "The Oldest Member," which is based on the famous novel by humourist P. G. Wodehouse.

Edward Taylor's work at BBC allowed him the opportunity to write for other media. He worked in radio, theatre, and TV. For example, his script for the thriller play, "Murder by Misadventure," circulated in London for a whole month in 1992, and now the show is presented all over the world. The same goes for his comedies "A Rise in the Market," and, "Pardon Me, Prime Minister." The latter he wrote together with his good friend John Graham, who was a coworker in the some of Edward Taylor's other work.

Edward Taylor's most famous creation is still the radio program, "The Men From The Ministry," which aired on BBC radio from 1962-1980. The series spread all over the world through the BBC World Service. This radio series has been translated for and adapted to Finland, Sweden, and South Africa.

Right now, Finland is the only country where the show is aired, and so Edward Taylor has a special bond with the Finnish radio show, where he has many friends. Edward Taylor is also a fan of the video that Alia and Lars Svedberg made from one of the series' seasons. All in all, Finland is the only country where the Ministry's men's antics have been adapted to TV.

Now, Edward Taylor spends his working days in Hampstead, London, with his wife, Susan, who is an avid pianist, and his 10 year old daughter, Imogen (who could also become a fabulous pianist if she'd only practice). The Taylors spend their summers at Bexhill, on the Sussex coast, where they enjoy swimming in the ocean.

Edward Taylor is also an avid spectator, loving most Cricket and Football. He can't wait to see the next Football World Cup, and is also eager to see how Finland's team will place.

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This page was arranged by Gary Schajer, Vancouver, Canada.