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Waris Hussein: Breaking Through

February 2018

We celebrate the remarkable career of UK television’s first Indian drama director.

Introduction by season programmer Marcus Prince

Waris Hussein


“Waris has long had an appetite for taboo subjects and issue-led dramas”
Patrick Mulkern, Radio Times

Waris Hussein was the youngest drama director appointed by the BBC in 1960, and also the first of South Asian descent. Perhaps best known as the director who, along with producer Verity Lambert, brought us Doctor Who, he went on to have an illustrious career that included some of the finest TV drama, such as Shoulder to Shoulder (screening at BFI Southbank in June), The Glittering Prizes and Edward and Mrs Simpson. Hussein also belongs to that exclusive number of UK directors to have made it on both sides of the Atlantic – he won an Emmy for his direction of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana – and he also directed Intimate Contact, one of the first UK TV dramas to tackle the Aids crisis, a series that made a vitally important impact. Directors are now unlikely to boast such a varied skill set and prolific CV as Waris Hussein, a genuine pioneer.


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