Born in Salford near Manchester on 20.2.1943, he trained as an actor, subsequently taking up studies in set design at art college.
This was followed by studies at the London Film School. A director and screenwriter, also a playwright and stage director, he is a major figure in New British Cinema.
After directing Bleak Moments in 1972 and dedicating several years to theatre and TV, in 1989 he returned to movies with High Hopes, Critics’ Award at Venice.
Later came Life Is Sweet (1991), Naked (1993), Secrets & Lies (1996), Golden Shell at Cannes and Goya for Best Foreign Film, All or Nothing and Vera Drake, Golden Lion at Venice.
Happy-Go-Lucky earned Sally Hawkins the Silver Shell for Best Actress at Berlin 2008.