Anthony Hayward

For the former Chief Executive of BP, see Tony Hayward.

Anthony Hayward (born 26 October 1959) is a British journalist and author. He is a regular contributor to The Independent and The Guardian, and has written more than 20 books about television and film. The subject of censorship has been a constant theme throughout his work.

Early life

Hayward was born in Caversham, Berkshire, brought up near Romsey, Hampshire, and attended Bishop Wordsworth's School, Salisbury from 1971 to 1978. He trained as a journalist at the London College of Printing (now the London College of Communication, University of the Arts) (1978–1980) and won its 1979–1980 Journalism Prize. He gained a Higher National Diploma in Journalism and the National Council for the Training of Journalists' Pre-Entry Journalism Certificate, both with distinction.[1]


After five years in local newspapers and national magazines, as a reporter and sub-editor, and editor of New Video Viewer, Hayward joined the staff on the features desk of TV Times (1985–1989). He turned freelance in 1989 and has since written for publications in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and South Africa. He has contributed to The Independent since 1993 and The Guardian since 2009.

Hayward's books include Who's Who on Television, TV Unforgettables, Prime Suspect and The Making of Moll Flanders. He also wrote the biographies Phantom: Michael Crawford Unmasked and Julie Christie and collaborated with Sheila Mercier on her autobiography, Annie's Song: My Life & Emmerdale.

In 2001, his book In the Name of Justice: The Television Reporting of John Pilger was published by Bloomsbury.[2] It was described by the Far Eastern Economic Review as "an excellent introduction to abuses of power around the world"[3] and by Julian Petley (The Independent) as "a fascinating account of the changing nature of censorship on British television".[4] Den Shewman, of the American film trade magazine Variety, wrote: "Anthony Hayward's excellent account of Pilger's work shows how [his] sensibility [to justice and injustice] has driven Pilger to create 50 British television documentaries over the last 30 years, programs that have changed public policy and saved lives… Pilger's professional life has been dedicated to exploring tragic situations, and Hayward stares unblinkingly into these horrors".[5] However, in a negative review of the book, the British journalist Jon Snow wrote in The Observer that its "range from hagiography to catalogue" left him thinking that "the Pilger story is deserving of more" than the book delivers.[6] In 2013, Profiles International Media published an updated account, Breaking the Silence: The Films of John Pilger, as an e-book to tie in with Pilger's documentary film Utopia.[7][8]

Which Side Are You On? Ken Loach and His Films, Hayward's 2004 book,[9][10] was described by the New Statesman as "an eloquent insight into the work of Britain's finest and most courageous film director".[11][12] As well as providing a biography of the director and his work, the book revealed for the first time the real reason for the banning of Loach's television documentary series Questions of Leadership, which allowed trade union members to bring their own leaders to account at a time when they were facing the challenge posed by the policies of the Thatcher government. Loach and Central Independent Television had been commissioned by Channel 4 to make the programmes, which were eventually withdrawn by Central. It emerged that the media tycoon Robert Maxwell had put pressure on Central's board, of which he had become a director, to withdraw Questions of Leadership at the time he was buying the Daily Mirror newspaper and needed the co-operation of union leaders, especially Frank Chapple of the electricians.

As well as giving scores of radio and television interviews, Hayward has been chair or speaker at many events, including the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts (2001, 2004, 2006), the Ways with Words Festival, Dartington (2001), the Mashamshire Arts Festival (2005), the Bradford Film Festival (2006, 2007) and the AV Festival (2008). The discussion with John Pilger that he chaired at the 2006 Hay Festival was included as a bonus feature with the DVDs John Pilger – Documentaries That Changed the World.[13] and Heroes – The Films of John Pilger 1970–2007.[14]



  1. Anthony Hayward CV.
  2. Julian Petley (13 March 2001). "The changing nature of television censorship". The Independent.
  3. Far Eastern Economic Review, 14 June 2001
  4. The Independent, 13 March 2001
  5. Den Shewman "Review: ‘In The Name of Justice, The Television Reporting of John Pilger’", Variety, 16–22 April 2001
  6. Jon Snow "Still angry after all these years", The Observer, 25 February 2001
  7. Anthony Hayward "Fact: Self-publishing my non-fiction as ebooks makes sense", The Guardian, 19 November 2013
  8. An earlier update in 2008 was released as part of the DVD package Heroes – The Films of John Pilger 1970–2007. See "John Pilger: Heroes – The Films of John Pilger 1970–2007: Network DVD".
  9. Sukhdev Sandhu (23 May 2004). "The passion of real lives". The Daily Telegraph.
  10. Anthony Hayward (3 November 2006). "Cathy Come Home: The true story behind Britain's most famous TV drama". The Independent.
  11. New Statesman, 28 June 2004.
  12. "Bloomsbury Publishing Author Biography".
  13. "John Pilger: Documentaries That Changed the World: Network DVD".
  14. "John Pilger: Heroes – The Films of John Pilger 1970–2007: Network DVD".
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