Paul’s television writing career started on Coronation Street in 1983 and in 1988 he went on to co-create the drama series Children's Ward with Kay Mellor, which ran for more than a decade.
He produced the second series of Jimmy McGovern's BAFTA-winning Cracker and went on to write on series three in 1995, which won another BAFTA. Following this, Paul wrote the drama serials Reckless, Springhill, Touching Evil and Butterfly Collectors.
In 1998, he established himself as a leading writer of contemporary television drama with the creation of the award-winning series Clocking Off. This was followed by The Secret World of Michael Fry, Linda Green and Alibi.
In 2003, his political thriller State of Play played out to a rapturous critical reception, and in 2008 it was made into a Hollywood movie starring Russell Crowe.
Then came the multi-award-winning semi-autobiographical Shameless, which spanned 11 series from 2004 to 2013. Shameless has been remade in the USA starring William H Macy as Frank Gallagher which has seen just as much success as its original counterpart: in December 2016, a ninth series was commissioned.
Paul has won various awards for writing and producing including: the BAFTA Dennis Potter Award for Outstanding Writing in Television, International Emmys and the Peabody Award. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Salford, and Honorary Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University.
In 2008 Paul established his development company AbbottVision, which enables him to continue to write, mentor and work with new writers.
2011 saw several new projects for Paul, including the acclaimed BBC One drama series Exile starring John Simm and Jim Broadbent; and Hit and Miss - the first specially commissioned UK drama series for Sky Atlantic.
More recently, Paul’s latest drama, No Offence, finished its second series in February 2017.
Bill is the owner and creative director of Islington Mill, a unique creative powerhouse consisting of an innovative combination of production, performance and living spaces. Under his direction Islington Mill has supported the work of innumerable artists, notably the pop group 'The Ting Tings' and visual artists Rachel Goodyear and Susie MacMurray. In 2011, Islington Mill was featured in the New York Times.
Bill studied fashion, receiving a BA Honours degree from St Martin's College London in 1994. He returned to Manchester and took up an active role in the creative and public life of the city. In 2001 he successfully raised finance to purchase Islington Mill, a Victorian former cotton spinning mill situated on the border of the cities of Manchester and Salford. He subsequently set about developing the vast building into 50+ studios for artists and creative businesses, performance and gallery spaces and an artist run B&B.
In 2008, along with co-directors Maurice and Mark Carlin, he co-founded Islington Mill Arts Club, an independent agency with a remit to programme gigs, residencies and exhibitions from local and international artists and musicians. Since its inception it has engaged with numerous artists notably visual artists, Billy Childish, David Medalla and Peter Fend and musicians JD Sampson (Le Tigre), Melt Banana, Rhys Chatham and Damo Suzuki. In 2010, the organisation received a significant grant award from Arts Council England and Salford City Council.
Born in Patricroft, Eccles in Salford, Sir Harold left school at 15. He learned shorthand and typing, and began his journalistic career as a 16-year-old reporter for a weekly newspaper in Ashton-under-Lyne. He served in the Royal Air Force from 1946-9, then entered Durham University, where he graduated with honours in politics and economics.
He rose through the ranks at the Manchester Evening News, then was awarded a Harkness Fellowship for two years of travel and study in the U.S. He was appointed Editor of the Northern Echo in 1961, and reached the pinnacle of the profession on his appointment as Editor of the Sunday Times in 1967. During his 14-year tenure as Editor, he was responsible for the Sunday Times' crusading style of investigative reporting, which exposed the spy Kim Philby and won justice for the Thalidomide children.
Following Rupert Murdoch's acquisition of Times Newspapers Limited in 1981, Sir Harold was named editor of The Times, and served for a year - the only person ever to have edited both The Times and the Sunday Times. He resigned in 1982, citing policy differences relating to editorial independence.
In America, Sir Harold became President of Random House. He has written two best-selling histories and his memoir My Paper Chase. He followed the late Alistair Cooke in commentaries on America for the BBC. He holds the British Press Awards' Gold Award for Lifetime Achievement of Journalists. In 2001 British journalists voted him the Greatest All-Time Newspaper Editor and in 2004, he was knighted for his services to journalism.
Alan was born in 1934, and was educated at Alderley Edge Council School, The Manchester Grammar School and Oxford University. He is an author and the winner of several national and international honours. He has written and presented television documentary films, one of which, ‘Images’, won First Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival.
Since 1957 he has lived in Blackden, close to the Lovell Radio Telescope, in a medieval timber frame hall, where all his work has been done. In 1970 he rescued a sixteenth century apothecary’s house that was about to demolished, had it recorded, dismantled, repaired and re-erected as an extension to the medieval building at Blackden.
The site at Blackden has been occupied for at least ten thousand years, since the end of the last Ice Age, and archaeological evidence from all subsequent periods have been discovered in the garden and surrounding fields. In 2004 he co-founded The Blackden Trust for the purpose of preservation of the buildings, the study and care of the environment, to foster research, to educate the public in the architecture, history and archaeology of the site, and to assist in the provision of an environment for artistic or academic purposes for those that seek such surroundings to help in completing artistic or academic work of merit.
Alan was awarded the OBE for services to literature in 2001 and elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2007. In March 2011, he completed his ninth novel, ‘Boneland’.
Deborah is an award-winning journalist and is currently Defence Editor at The Times. In 2009, Deborah gave the inaugural language and society lecture at the University of Salford about the role of interpreters and translators in conflict zones with specific reference to her own experiences while working in Iraq for two years.
She campaigned for the right of Iraqi interpreters and translators to be repatriated to the UK, and in 2008 won the first Tony Bevins Prize for investigative journalism, and the Amnesty International Media Award, which recognises excellence in human rights reporting.
Deborah was educated at Cardiff University and Surugadai University in Japan. She started her career working as a reporter at TV Tokyo and then Japan Economic editor at the Tokyo bureau of Agence France-Presse. In 2007, Deborah joined The Times as Iraq correspondent in Baghdad.
Magnus joined Peat Marwick Mitchell in Manchester in 1959 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1964. He then spent six years in London gaining more financial experience, returning to Manchester in 1970 as a founding partner in a new firm of stockbrokers.
In 1990 Magnus was recruited to start a new office for the corporate advisory side of Barclays de Zoete Wedd, part of the Barclays Bank Group. After ten years he left and went plural with non-executive directorships in several public and private companies, including Ryalux Carpets in Oldham, The Allen Group in Wigan, G H Scholes in Wythenshawe and, latterly, Royal Doulton.
In 1999, the Mowat family moved from Cheshire, which had been their home for 29 years, to Somerset to be near other family and where they now have a mixed livestock farm.
A year later, Magnus obtained Chartered Director status with the Institute of Directors, after joining an Institute of Directors course organised jointly by the Institute of Directors and the University of Salford.
His other interests have included helping the boards of several charities, including the Manchester YMCA (in a period which saw the building of its 100 bed hotel and fitness centre in Castlefield), Booths Charities in Salford and, more recently, the Woodard Corporation and being the Chairman of Governors of one of its schools in Taunton, being chosen the Independent School Governor of the Year in 2010.
Graham is a singer-songwriter known for his light tenor voice and for his songwriting contributions with the British pop group The Hollies, and with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and Crosby & Nash.
His family evacuated from Salford during the Second World War to Blackpool, where Graham was born, but later returned to where he grew up on Skinner Street in Ordsall. He is a famous member of the Salford Lads’ Club.
Nash is a former engineering student at the university. He said: ‘I'm a son of Salford. Everything I learned about how to deal with the world I learned from my parents here. I think they would have been incredibly proud of me.’
Graham was awarded an OBE for his services to songwriting and inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. He released an autobiographical memoir in 2013 called Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life.
He now lives in Hawaii, and aside from his music, is a published photographer and photography collector.
Born in 1935 in New York, Peggy’s first life-partner was the Salford playwright and songwriter Ewan MacColl, who wrote The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face for her. A multi-instrumentalist, she is known for her excellent renditions of Anglo-American folksongs and for her activist song writing, especially in the fields of feminism and ecology. Her best-known pieces are Gonna Be an Engineer and The Ballad of Springhill, the latter of which has come to be regarded as a traditional song.
After living for 35 years in England, Peggy returned to the USA in 1994 and took up residence in Ashville, North Carolina. She moved to Boston in 2006 to take up a teaching job at Northeastern University, and moved back to the UK, to Oxford, in 2010. She tours extensively in the UK and occasionally in the USA, Canada and Australia as a solo concert artist, singing and giving workshops. She has made 21 solo recordings and has participated in more than a hundred recordings with other artists, one of whom is her second life-partner Irene Pyper-Scott. Peggy has also published a songbook with 150 of her 200+ songs (The Peggy Seeger Songbook: Warts and All: Forty Years of Song Making).
Following graduation from Loughborough University, Chris served with the Royal Hong Kong Police. He returned to the UK in the late 1970s where he read for his MA at Sheffield University and joined The Prison Service in 1980.
His career, until his retirement in 2008, saw service in a variety of prisons and headquarter-roles and progression through the ranks. His last eleven years of service were as Governing Governor, culminating in his last five years as Governor of HMP Manchester. His appointment was timed to bring the institution into the High Security Estate and during his leadership it was twice recognised as being one of the top five. For this, he was awarded an OBE in 2008 for his commitment to the prison service.
Following his retirement, Chris was appointed as Honorary Fellow in Criminology here at Salford and as Senior Adviser (Prisons) to the newly-formed Centre for Prison Studies. His involvement at the Centre has included inputs into conferences, lectures and engagement with courses provided for overseas delegations.
In 2009 he was elected as a Trustee for the Howard League for Penal Reform and was a member of the advisory panel to the enquiry by Sir John Nutting QC into ex-armed service personnel in prison.
Warren is a retired businessman who, for 30 years, had a career in regeneration and redevelopment throughout the North West, particularly the Ordsall area of Salford.
His voluntary career has been the driving force throughout his adult life: Justice of the Peace since 1983, a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester in 1995, High Sheriff in 1997-98 and The Lord-Lieutenant, representing HM The Queen in Greater Manchester, since June 2007.
Previously, Warren was Chairman Free Trade Hall; the Millennium Quarter Trust (URBIS), Chairman of the charity Turning Point (the largest provider of drug, alcohol and mental health services outside the NHS), Deputy Chairman of Mental Health Services of Salford (NHS Trust), a member of the Greater Manchester Police Policy Committee on Drug Misuse and a member of the Advisory Panel which raised £6m to refurbish Ordsall Hall.
Warren has also been on the Manchester Council for Community Relations between 1982-1993, and founded the Progress Trust in 1994, developing education and employment initiatives within non-white communities.