Beryl Vertue

Beryl Frances Vertue CBE (born 1931) is an English television producer, media executive, and former agent. She is founder and chairwoman of the independent television production company Hartswood Films.

Beryl Vertue

Beryl Frances Vertue

1931 (age 8788)
OccupationTelevision producer, media executive, former agent
Produced Men Behaving Badly
Children2, including Sue Vertue


A former school friend of comedy writer Alan Simpson, Vertue was invited to join what was soon to become "Associated London Scripts" as a secretary-cum-girl Friday. She later found that she had become an agent, almost by stealth at ALS, representing comedy writers Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Johnny Speight, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson and Terry Nation (for whom she famously negotiated to partially keep his rights to his Dalek creation for Doctor Who). She also represented comedians Tony Hancock (until 1961) and Frankie Howerd.[1]

In 1967 she joined the Stigwood Organisation, which had absorbed ALS, specialising in selling British television formats to America. These successes included Steptoe and Son, which became in the US Sanford and Son, and Till Death Us Do Part, which was turned into All in the Family.[2] In 1975 she was a co-executive producer of the cinema version of The Who's rock opera Tommy, directed by Ken Russell and starring Roger Daltrey.

In the 1980s Vertue formed Hartswood Films, which has produced many comedies including Men Behaving Badly, Is It Legal?, and Coupling. The latter was produced by her daughter Sue Vertue and written by son-in-law Steven Moffat. She also served as executive producer of their dramatic series Sherlock.

Personal life

Vertue has two daughters, Sue and Debbie Vertue. Her daughter Sue is married to writer and producer Steven Moffat, of Doctor Who and Sherlock fame.


Vertue was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to television and Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to television drama.[3] In 2004 she received the British Academy Television Awards (BAFTA) Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Creative Contribution to Television.[1]

On 20 March 2012 she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards, and on 30 March 2012 - she was presented with the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting at the BPG TV and Radio Awards.

On 25 January 2013 Vertue was the guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs. Her musical choices were Elton John's "Pinball Wizard", Giacomo Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Serenade", the Bee Gees's "Morning of my Life", the Broadway cast of A Chorus Line performing "Finale", Elaine Paige's "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita, the London Session Orchestra performance of "SHERlocked" from the Sherlock TV series soundtrack, and Louis Armstrong's performance of "What a Wonderful World".[4]



  1. "Beryl Vertue OBE - Producer and Chairman". Hartswood Films. 2012. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  2. "Beryl Vertue". BBC. 16 June 2004. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  3. "No. 61450". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2015. p. N10.
  4. BBC Radio 4. Desert Island Discs. January 2013, Beryl Vertue.

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