Leading TV scriptwriter Brian Finch wrote 150 episodes of Coronation Street as well as scripts for Bergerac, All Creatures Great and Small, Heartbeat and The Bill. In 1999 he won critical acclaim for his dramatisation of Michelle Magorian’s Goodnight Mister Tom, the wartime story of a crusty widower and a boy evacuee starring John Thaw.
Born in Wigan on July 25, 1936, Finch was the son of a miner. He was educated at Thornleigh College, Bolton and then began a career in journalism as a reporter on a local newspaper.
He did his National Service in the RAF and on being demobbed, joined the Manchester Evening News. He later went to work at the BBC as a press officer and in 1966 wrote his first play, Rodney, for the BBC Wednesday Play series.
He joined Granada TV’s Coronation Street and became one of its most respected and entertaining writers. He contributed to many other TV series, including Hunters’ Walk, The Brothers and Fallen Hero. Most recently, he performed in episodes of Hetty Wainthropp Investigates.
His last work included the screenplay of Heidi (2005) starring Diana Rigg and Max von Sydow and the TV screenplay of The Shell Seekers (2006), starring Maximilian Schell and Vanessa Redgrave.
He died on June 27. At his funeral his son Paul, also a writer, said that his father was proud of his humble beginnings and had never forgotten where he had come from. He revealed that his father first learnt his mother was pregnant with Paul when Paul McCartney handed him a phone while he was “having an argument in a lift” with John Lennon in the sixties.
Paul said: “Dad was the son of a miner. He was as comfortable standing at a bar in Wigan talking about Wigan rugby league as he was at some BBC cheese and wine party.”