Who was Richard Imison?
Richard Imison formed and ran a Shakespearian touring company, The Pembroke Players whilst at Cambridge. On graduating he joined the BBC and, apart from brief stints as the BBC’s representative in India and on the television archaeology series Chronicle, his entire career was devoted to radio drama.
Richard held positions such as script editor, Deputy Head of the BBC Radio Drama department and the Managing Director’s Spokesman for Radio. He had, perhaps, the greatest spread of influence of anyone working in the field, giving writers the most unstinting support.
As well as discovering dramatists such as Tom Stoppard, Richard also encouraged established writers such as Edward Albee, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Alexander Gelman, Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett to write for the genre. He founded an International Commissioning Scheme which commissioned acclaimed US and Russian stage playwrights and, when America set out to revive radio drama in the 1970’s, advised the US Corporation of Public Broadcasting. He also worked on steering committees for both the Prix Italia and the European Broadcasting Union .