Grant is one of the most prolific and successful writers working in youth, family and children’s television in the United Kingdom. With an astounding 500+ produced television scripts to his credit, his work has been nominated for (and won) BAFTA, ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY, WRITERS’ GUILD OF GREAT BRITAIN and PRIX JEUNESSE awards.
His earliest major achievement came at the age of 18 when he co-wrote, produced and directed an epic-scale fantasy film, JACK SNELL. Hailed by the Glasgow Evening Times as “a triumph” it received screenings at the Glasgow Film Theatre.
Originally intending to pursue a career as a writer/director, Grant gained a place on the 3-year Actors’ Course at the ROYAL SCOTTISH ACADEMY OF MUSIC AND DRAMA (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) graduating with a Diploma in Dramatic Art, an Award for Special Merit in Acting, and the RSAMD Best Student Prize.
It was here that Grant formed a writer/performer double-act with Alex Bartlette. Together they won the BBC Muriel Finlayson Award for Scriptwriting, as well as taking the Edinburgh International Festival by storm with their acclaimed take on Shakespeare’s comedy, TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
For the following six or seven years, Grant Cathro balanced his busy performing career with occasional writing commissions –
AS AN ACTOR...
Grant starred in the BBC TV 13-part prime-time drama, JURY - a performance which won him much praise. He also landed the title role in Mick Gold’s film biopic of EGON SCHIELE, co-starring David Suchet as Gustav Klimt.
There followed seasons at the Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre, the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, Leicester Haymarket Theatre and Northcott Theatre, Exeter - where as well as appearing in HAMLET and Thomas Hardy’s THE DYNASTS, Grant also composed and performed the music.
Grant then wrote and co-starred in his musical-comedy A BUCKSKIN BAG OF GOLD which was mounted at the Exeter Northcott Theatre.
He played opposite Kenneth Branagh in Julian Mitchell’s play FRANCIS at Greenwich Theatre, then joined The Royal Shakespeare Company at the Aldwych Theatre, London, appearing in Terry Hands’ production of TROILUS AND CRESSIDA and Solzhenitsyn’s THE LOVE GIRL AND THE INNOCENT.
Grant’s prolific work on the London Fringe won him rave reviews in a sequence of Shakespeare comedy roles – as PUCK in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, BIONDELLO in TAMING OF THE SHREW and LAUNCELOT GOBBO in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.
He went on to appear in a succession of mainstream television dramas including TAGGART and LOVE HURTS, starring Zoe Wannamaker and Adam Faith.
In 2016, Grant appeared alongside Stephen Baldwin in Tomasz Szafranski’s comedy gangster movie NO PANIC – filmed in Warsaw and produced by Przemyslaw & Ryszard Sztoch (nopanicmovie.com).
AS A WRITER...
Grant’s earliest success (aged just 22) was a one-hour comedy play produced by Tom Kinninmont for BBC R4 - called MOONLIGHT AND ASPIRINS, it starred Miriam Margolyes, Rupert Frazer and David Hayman.
Grant then joined forces with children’s television writer Lee Pressman. Together they created and wrote all 94 episodes of the cult kids’ fantasy/comedy T-BAG starring Elizabeth Estensen, Georgina Hale, Glenda Jackson, Gemma Craven, Murray Melvin, Roy Barraclough, Frank Thornton, Peggy Mount and Victor Spinetti. One of ITV’s most enduring and popular family shows, T-BAG ran for almost a decade.
Pressman and Cathro went on to create an unparalleled run of original and hugely successful children’s TV series. Their burger-bar sitcom SPATZ (featuring David Harewood, Rhys Ifans and Danny John-Jules) broke all CITV viewing records, capturing a 74% share of the audience. Another record-breaker was MIKE & ANGELO (with John Savident, Ron Moody, Kerry Shale, James Ellis, Christopher Biggins, Tony Selby and James Saxon). At 123 episodes MIKE & ANGELO remains one of the UK’s longest-running sitcoms.
Grant and Lee next created and wrote CONE ZONE, starring Victoria Hamilton and Paul Reynolds, then together re-invented the 1970s sci-fi action/adventure series THE TOMORROW PEOPLE, starring Naomi Harris, Christopher Lee, Jean Marsh, Connie Booth, Denise Coffey and Elizabeth Spriggs. Their work on this was nominated for BAFTA and WRITERS GUILD awards.
Their next project, DELTA WAVE, was a sci-fi comedy series starring Graham Crowden and Una Stubbs. Their 100-minute feature film B&B starring Kevin Whately, Katy Murphy, Joanna Kanska and Ian McNeice, was met with great critical acclaim and won Grant and Lee a WRITERS’ GUILD AWARD for “Best Children’s Television”.
As a solo writer, Grant wrote a screenplay adaptation of Shakespeare’s ROMEO & JULIET for C4, starring Jonathan Firth, John Nettles, Geraldine Somerville and Jenny Agutter, then co-wrote, co-produced and starred in a 60-minute sci-fi film, THE LIGHT FANTASTIC alongside Oscar-winner Peter Capaldi and Phillida Law.
He followed this up by writing episodes of the multi award-winning Disney/BBC hit MICROSOAP in conjunction with Mark Haddon (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) after which came episodes of ITV’s popular family-drama series SNAP and the surreal sitcom STAR STREET - a vehicle for the chart-topping allSTARS).
As a writer/performer, Grant created, wrote and starred in his own late-night comedy series SOMETHING OR OTHER (airing on BBC R4) then was commissioned by Trudie Styler of Xingu Films to write a feature film screenplay of Joshua Doder’s popular novel, A DOG CALLED GRK.
Grant was Head Writer for all three series of GENIE IN THE HOUSE, a 78-episode fantasy/sitcom commission from Nickelodeon UK. One of the channel’s top-rated shows, it plays successfully in 110 regions around the world.
In recent years, Grant has written two live-action teen comedies for The Walt Disney Company in Poland – DO DZWONKA and DO DZWONKA CAFÉ – for which he was solo writer on all 55 episodes. Both these shows became No 1 hits for the Disney Channel. Most recently Grant co-created and was Head Writer of a 26-part musical comedy series, WHICH IS WITCH? The show is currently being aired by RTBF in Belgium and in France by Canal-J/Lagardere.
AS AN ILLUSTRATOR...
Grant began his three-pronged career as a screenwriter, actor and illustration artist in his mid-teens when he created hundreds of comedy strip cartoons for two major Scottish newspapers. The most successful of these, THE WHIRLIES and THE KIDS, ran weekly for many years.
Alongside his prolific acting and writing work, Grant has illustrated several episodes of BBC’s JACKANORY and Thames Television’s WE’LL TELL YOU A STORY. For over a decade he has also provided popular comedy Christmas Cards for the ACTORS’ BENEVOLENT FUND (President: Penelope Keith, Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales).
For AMBER LANE PRESS, Grant produced a series of illustrated covers for published plays by Anthony Shaffer, Ronald Harwood, Richard Harris, Bob Larby, Julian Mitchell, Peter Terson, Donald Freed, Maxim Gorky and Anton Chekhov.
In 2017 and 2018 he illustrated two books of short stories by John Foley and is currently at work in 2020 combining his writing and drawing skills to produce his first comedy novel.