Francis Durbridge

and The Rest of Europe

In the rest of Europe Francis Durbridge radio and television serials were regularly broadcast sometimes in the case of television with the BBC serials being dubbed into the local language. However his work proved very popular in Scandinavia with at least three Paul Temple radio serials being produced in Denmark, and local television productions of The Scarf and Melissa in Finland and Sweden.

It was in Poland that he also became a household name due to the production of seven of his television serials locally between 1970 and 1976. All were translated into Polish by Kazimierz Piotrowski and four were produced and directed by Jan Bratkowski (1931-2015).

At this time the Iron Curtain existed and Polish television were not permitted to remit payment for television rights overseas and many writers at the time therefore had funds in Poland held in blocked accounts that they could not access. Unfortunately the UK government decreed that all such funds were still taxable in the UK even though they could not be accessed and as Francis Durbridge was the most successful writer for television and radio in Europe at the time he was paying the highest rate of UK tax in excess of 80%. Every Polish production therefore cost him money and he decided in 1976 that he could longer afford to licence local productions. These productions however still remain popular with television and two of these serials were broadcast on Polish television in 2022

Elsewhere in Europe whilst television and radio serials might not be produced there were a steady stream of publication of the novels based upon his serials into other languages like Spanish, Portuguese, Slovakian, Russian, Croatian and Serbian.

Work by Francis Durbridge in the Rest of Europe