Edward Boyd (1916 – 1989) Stevenston-born T.V and radio crime writer.

On the 11th of May, 1916 the award-winning T.V. and radio crime writer Edward Boyd was born in Stevenston.  

His parents were married at the Thistle and Rose Hotel on 31st December 1914 and at the time of their marriage, his father Samuel was listed as a Seaman working for the Merchant Service, and his mother Mary Gardiner was a dynamite worker. 

Edward was born at 5 Townhead Street (now the car park at the Christian Fellowship Church) and attended the local Higher Grade and then Ardrossan Academy. After leaving school he worked briefly at the ICI factory in Ardeer before leaving and heading off to the bright lights of London, with faint thoughts of becoming a writer. 

His move to London wasn’t very successful and he spent time going hungry, sleeping in park benches and shop doorways before returning to Ayrshire. After serving in the Royal Air Force from 1939 – 1945, he started writing for Glasgow Unity Theatre.  

He was a script writer for Scottish Television before becoming a contract writer for Granada. He created TV series’ such as “The Odd Man” (1960-63), “The Corridor People” (1966) and “The View from Daniel Pike” (1971-73) starring Roddy McMillan as a Glaswegian private detective.  

His film work included “Robbery” (1967) which starred Stanley Baker and Frank Finlay. This won him the 1968 Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award for Best British Original Screenplay which he shared with Peter Yates and George Markstein. 

Some of his scripts were adapted for book form such as “The View from Daniel Pike” with Edward and Bill Knox as the authors. The Dark Number which he co-wrote with Roger Parkes in 1973 won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière International Prize in 1975. 

Edward was married twice and had 2 daughters. His first wife Katy Gardiner was an actress and illustrator. They had a daughter Susan who was a successful scriptwriter, writing for popular BBC shows such as Eastenders, Casualty and Holby City before dying in 2004 aged 55 years old. His second marriage was to Cathie and their daughter Rachel starred in the 1985 film “Restless Natives”, as well as directing and producing various film and TV productions. 

In his later years he returned to writing for radio and his last completed work was a play for BBC Radio Scotland entitled “Oblivion is Not to Be Hired.” He died in Glasgow on 17 December 1989 aged 73 years. A few days after his death the Glasgow Herald’s obituary of him described him as a “mature anarchist” and a collection of his scripts was deposited with the University of Glasgow Library. He is remembered in Stevenston with a blue heritage plaque at this birthplace in Townhead Street.  

Further Reading

Edward Boyd at the Internet Movie Database