Working Class Hero

Welcome to another locked-down episode of WE’D LIKE A WORD with Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan and their guest this episode – novelist and screen-writer Dougie Brimson.

Dougie is the author of several novels including The Crew, Billy’s Log, Top Dog, Wings of a Sparrow and his latest – In the Know. He’s also the author of several non-fiction books that mostly centre on the culture of football fans and explore the subject of hooliganism. He’s also a screenwriter with several films to his credit including Green Street (starring Elijah Wood) and Top Dog, directed by actor an ex-Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp.

After 18 years service as an engineering sergeant with the RAF – including deployment during the Falklands conflict – Dougie’s literary career began in 1996 when he co-wrote a book exploring the culture of football hooliganism entitled, Everywhere We Go: Behind the Matchday Madness. He has subsequently written a further 14 books in a variety of genres including fiction thriller and fiction comedy.

In 2003 he made the move into screenwriting with the short film It’s a Casual Life, which looked at the world of football violence from the fans’ perspective. His first full-length feature, the Hollywood-funded Green Street won numerous awards including:

  • Narrative Jury Prize-SXSW Film Festival
  • Narrative Feature Audience-SXSW Film Festival
  • Best of Festival–Malibu Film Festival
  • Jury Award (feature)–Malibu Film Festival
  • Official Selection–Tribeca Film Festival

His next feature was an adaptation of his own novel Top Dog in 2014 which won ‘Best Feature’ at the British Independent Film Festival 2014 as well as a string of acting awards.

November 2014 saw the release of We Still Kill The Old Way, a vigilante thriller starring Ian Ogilvy, Chris Ellison, Steven Berkhoff and Lysette Anthony.

On this episode we discuss the differences between writing for books and writing for the screen. We also talk about the difficulties faced by working-class writers who have huge audiences but almost no representation among traditional publishers.

Mentioned on the show:

Kit de Waal’s excellent Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers

Paul McVeigh’s The Good Son

Sabrina Mafouz’s Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It Happen

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