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Peter Ling (1926-2006)

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Peter George Derek Ling (b. Thornton Beach, Surrey, 7 May 1926; d. 14 September 2006) was a keen writer from an early age. His first published article was in Good Housekeeping at the age of 14.

During the Second World War he was conscripted as a "Bevin Boy" to work in a Derbyshire coal mine, but after three months he was transferred to the Army Pay Corps due to ill-health. After the war he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent more than two years in a British Legion sanatorium. He published his first novel, Voices Offstage, in 1947. He wrote for Jon Pertwee's radio comedy show, Waterlogged Spa, and began writing comedy material for television in 1950, including the children's show Whirligig.

In 1952 he was introduced to the Eagle's assistant editor, Ellen Vincent, and was invited to write for the comic. He wrote the schoolboy serial "The Three J's", illustrated by Peter Kay from 1953 to 1959, and adapted it for television in 1958. In 1954 he married Sheilagh Potts, an actress and writer who had worked on Whirligig, who used the professional name Sheilah Ward. Together they wrote "Two Pairs of Skates" (1956-57) and "Penny Starr" (1957) for Girl, as well as collaborating on a Girl novel, Angela Has Wings (1960), based on the comic strip "Angela, Air Hostess" by Betty Roland and Dudley Pout.

He was also a songwriter, and his song "Why Not Now" was a hit for Matt Monroe in 1961. With Hazel Adair, he co-wrote Compact, a soap set in the offices of a women's magazine, for the BBC from 1962 to 1965, and followed that with Crossroads for ITV from 1964 to 1987. His television credits also include Dixon of Dock Green, Sexton Blake, The Avengers and Doctor Who, and he also wrote numerous radio dramas, including the Radio 2 soap Waggoner's Walk, and novels, including bodice-rippers under the name Petra Lee. He died in 2006 after a long struggle with Alzheimers disease.

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