Hazel Adair

Hazel Adair: 1920-2015

Hazel Adair, the first woman Chair of WGGB in 1965-66, created Britain’s first daily TV soap, Sixpenny Corner, and also our first mass-audience soap, Compact. If that wasn’t enough, she went on to create the legendary Crossroads in collaboration with Peter Ling.

Starting in the early days of television, she championed the position of women and people of colour – pioneering British TV as more equal and diverse than in any other country at that time.

Hazel started as a TV actor in the mid-1950s, but soon realised she could write better scripts than the ones she was often given to perform.

She served as Writers’ Guild Chair alongside Denis Norden, and complained to ATV’s Lew Grade about low pay for scriptwriters: “I thumped his desk and I said: ‘It’s a disgrace what you pay us.’ He looked at me – no one had ever spoken like that to him before. I said: ‘It isn’t fair and I’m going to call a strike.’” Grade caved in.

The funeral will take place at Brockham Church, Brockham Green, near Dorking, Surrey, at 12.30pm on Friday 4 December 2015. There will be a reception afterwards at the Burford Bridge Hotel, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6BX, from 2-3.30pm. If you intend to attend the funeral and/or the reception, please contact Hazel’s son Charles Marriott in advance on 07831 606352.

For other obituaries, please see the Guardian and the BBC.