Bob Baker: 1939-2021

WGGB Treasurer Gail Renard pays tribute to Bob Baker, an Oscar and BAFTA award-winning film and television screenwriter and a long-time supporter and member of WGGB
Bob Baker

Bob Baker was an Oscar and BAFTA award-winning film and television writer and WGGB stalwart. His impressive writing career spanned over 50 years.

Bob and his late writing partner Dave Martin wrote dozens of classic Doctor Who episodes during the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker years. They had a prolific partnership which Dave described as “a bit like a marriage without the sex”.

They also created the Doctor’s much-loved canine companion K9. Bob was forever proud that they maintained the rights in their character, following the example of Terry Nation and the Daleks. It was at a time the BBC didn’t realise that merchandising could make a fortune.

It might be said that Bob had a penchant for writing for dogs. In 1993 he joined forces with animator Nick Park to co-write the Wallace and Gromit short film The Wrong Trousers, for which they won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film and a BAFTA for Best Animation. They also collaborated on other Wallace and Gromit films including A Close ShaveThe Curse Of the Were-Rabbit and A Matter of Loaf and Death.

In his non-dog work, Bob wrote for series as varied as Z-CarsTargetBergerac and his ground-breaking and edgy children’s series Into The Labyrinth. Bob returned to K9 in 2010, writing and producing a new series, K9 (also known as The K9 Adventures), a UK and Australian co-pro.

In addition to his screen work, Bob also wrote his autobiography, K9 Stole My Trousers and a children’s book, Flora’s World Storybook.

I’d never known a time when Bob wasn’t busily working on his next project and eager to share the details over lunch. He had recently completed scripts for both a new K9 film and TV series, which are currently in pre-production and which will continue in tribute to him.

Bob took tremendous pleasure in his work and many enthusiasms, including wine and jazz. A joyful man, he will be missed by his family and friends, of whom I was lucky to count myself as one.

My condolences to Bob’s wife of 30 years, Marie, his children and grandchildren.