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Michael Hirst Poster

Biography

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Overview (1)

Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, UK

Mini Bio (1)

Michael Hirst was born on September 21, 1952 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. He is a writer and producer, known for Vikings (2013), The Tudors (2007) and Elizabeth (1998).

Spouse (1)

? (? - present) (2 children)

Trivia (3)

Grew up in Ilkley, was educated at Bradford Grammar School and attended the London School of Economics. Received a First Class Joint-Honours Degree in English and American Literature from the University of Nottingham and studied Henry James at Trinity College, Oxford.
Father of Maude Hirst and Georgia Hirst.
Michael Hirst said, "I respect show runners who work with a writer's room, but I'm not sure I could do that!" First is the creator, executive producer and sole writer of History's drama, Vinkings. "It's enough for me to be dealing with production, so if I had to be rewriting scripts and dealing with other writers' egos, I'm not sure it would be a very enjoyable experience for me." Neck-deep in writing the Vikings fourth season (2015), the longest to date, with twenty episodes. Hirst isn't daunted, Hirst served as the sole writer on his previous creation -- Showtime's The Tudors. Hirst added, "The Tudors was a learning curve for me. Certainly it was tough sometimes, but it was good. I loved it. So I wasn't going to do it any differently on Vikings." Hirst calls his writing process -- which takes place mostly at his home outside Oxford, England -- "organized chaos," with ideas floating around his brain. "I'll do a huge amount of reading," Hirst says, "and talk with the series' historical consultant, Justin Pollard. I'll do an overview. I'll do a bible. The bible might be huge - sixty, seventy pages per season. I break episodes down to about thirty pages of outline, and then I start writing. From that outline I can write an episode in a couple of weeks." Getting a script from an initial idea to the screen takes a year, Hirst estimates. "But at the same time, all of the other episodes are being processed." Unlike show runners who write every episode to maintain creative control, Hirst does it because he'd rather write than manage others. "I'm a slightly unusual show runner because I want to delegate. I want to give department heads freedom to do their best work." Justin Pollard is the person Hirst relies on most when plotting new episodes. "If I forgot something, he reminds me. It's like, 'This is what actually happened, Michael. Please focus.'".

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