Mike Bullen

Mike Bullen
BornMichael J. Bullen
(1960-01-13) 13 January 1960 (age 57)
Bramhall, Cheshire, England, UK
GenreComedy, drama
Notable works Cold Feet (1997-2003, 2016-), Life Begins (2004-2006)
Notable awards
  • Writers' Guild of Great Britain award for New Writer of the Year (1997)
  • British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series (2002)
  • British Comedy Award for Writer of the Year (2003)


Michael J. Bullen (given birth to 13 January 1960) can be an British screenwriter. Bullen was raised in the Western Midlands of Britain, going to the Solihull College and later on Magdalene University, Cambridge. He remaining with a level ever sold of artwork and became a radio maker for the BBC Globe Service. Unsatisfied with the grade of English television directed at people his age group, Bullen required a program in screenwriting and created a one-off humor episode for Granada Tv. This resulted in the commissioning of Chilly Ft, a multiple-award-winning humor drama that shown in the ITV network from 1998 to 2003. The series gained Bullen the Author of the entire year award on the 2003 United kingdom Comedy Honours. He composed two even more series for Granada; Lifestyle Begins, which went for 3 years, and ABOUT George, which went for only 1. His works have already been described as getting “about the intricacies of social relationships and what goes on when they breakdown”. Bullen moved along with his wife and two kids to Australia in 2002. 2 yrs later he aimed his first brief film, Amorality Story. He co-created the Australian/UK tv series Tripping Over in 2006 as well as the article writer and director from the Australian tv pilot Make or Break in 2007. He came back to producing function for British tv this year 2010 using the BBC pilot Reunited, and transferred back to the united kingdom in 2011. Bullen recently composed a sixth group of Cool Feet, using the same central people and actors, that was transmit on ITV in the united kingdom in 2016.


Bullen was created in Bramhall, Cheshire. Bullen's dad, Alex, was a chemical substance engineer, and his mom, Joan, was a housewife. Mike and his sister Jane had been elevated in Solihull, where he went to Solihull College. At age 18 he was recognized to Magdalene University, Cambridge, to learn economics. He didn't enjoy the subject matter, so turned to background of artwork. Despite his open public school history, Bullen sensed out of place at Cambridge among learners who didn't result from the metropolitan West Midlands, afterwards proclaiming that "Fifty percent the students had been debutantes who spent lots of time cleaning their locks; the spouse ended up employed in Sotheby's." His initial experiences of composing emerged when he was a kid and composed a paper for his neighbours. At Cambridge, he dramatised a Johann Wolfgang von Goethe book.Pursuing his graduation, Bullen started a career being a media planner buyer for an marketing company. The work didn't excite him and he provides referred to it as "fairly pointless". He stop the job to visit backpacking in south-east Asia. On his come back he requested a position like a radio maker at Radio Netherlands Worldwide, having previously worked well for a medical center radio. He ultimately began freelance function for the BBC Globe Services, where he was a presenter and maker for the journal programs On Screen and Outlook.



In 1994, aged 34, Bullen began considering writing a television script, predicated on the theory that he could "write crap" on television. He was motivated in particular from the American tv series Hill Road Blues (a display he "terminated [his] social existence for") and Thirtysomething. He started focus on scripts for Pie in the Sky and Soldier Soldier but didn't complete either. To boost his writing abilities, he got a writing program in the Country wide Film and Tv School, a humor program by Anji Loman Field, and went to Robert McKee's Tale seminar.He began composing another script, this time around pulling on his American tv influences. Thinking that there is nothing on English television for folks in his generation that had not been a cleaning soap opera or a outfit drama, Bullen had written a script entitled AN IDEAL Match, in regards to a guy who proposes to his sweetheart using the display at Wembley Stadium through the FA Glass Last. He secured a realtor, who were able to sell the script on spec to Andy Harries, controller of humor at Granada Tv. Harries referred to the composing as "amazing—cleverly built dialogue, extremely funny, well noticed" and commissioned it within his drive to go away from producing traditional-style sitcoms. Bullen referred to as soon as he strolled onto the group of AN IDEAL Match as "gobsmacking […] wandering around an area which got previously just existed in my own head". It had been broadcast on ITV in Sept 1995 to poor evaluations.Harries was pleased more than enough with Bullen's function to ask him to pitch even more ideas to AN IDEAL Match assistant maker Christine Langan, who shared Bullen's wish to see more tv directed at how old they are bracket. Bullen pitched the thought of a normal "boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-wins-girl-back" tale informed from both edges of the partnership but using components of dream and flashback to distort occasions to match a character's viewpoint. Harries recognized the pitch and Bullen started work on Cool Feet. Originally commissioned being a pilot for ITV's Humor Premieres coding strand, the chance of a complete tv series was presented with to Bullen. Cool Feet's main personality, Adam Williams, a lothario personality and a serial monogamist, was predicated on Bullen himself during his twenties. The various other main personality, Rachel Bradley, was predicated on a combined mix of his ex-girlfriends as well as the "ideal partner". Harries recommended that if a string were to end up being commissioned, more individuals would be required. Bullen created a supporting ensemble for Cold Foot, basing each personality on close friends of his. The script for Frosty Feet experienced "six or seven" drafts before getting filmed in 1996 and was broadcast in 1997. After a hiatus, it had been commissioned for a complete series. Through the hiatus, he composed a romantic humor feature film script for Granada and created a pilot for London Weekend Tv, neither which were found. The Writers' Guild of THE UK provided to Bullen the award for New Author of the entire year at their honours ceremony in Oct 1997.When he first started writing professionally, Bullen cannot framework his scripting within a coherent way, adopting a "combine and match" technique; he started by structuring a script on credit cards, after that typing what he previously onto a pc, then time for the credit cards. After completing the Cool Feet pilot, he beginning writing ten web pages of script each day, whatever the quality from the writing. His very own third draft was generally submitted to manufacturers as the "initial draft".


Production over the first group of Cool Foot began in January 1998. Bullen continuing his approach to developing storylines predicated on his very own lifestyle; he and his wife acquired their first kid in the last mentioned fifty percent of 1997, therefore he integrated their encounters into the story of individuals Pete and Jenny, who've their first kid in Cool Feet's first event. Throughout 1998, he maintained his job on the BBC, focusing on three radio displays per week at exactly the same time as composing Cool Feet. Through the second series he scale back to one present weekly. By enough time of the 3rd series in 2000, he sensed confident more than enough that he'd have another in tv that he could quit radio presenting totally. He transferred from his house in London to Cambridge, where he could write for just two complete days weekly with evenings and weekends.He done other projects at exactly the same time seeing that Cold Foot: After viewing the 1997 docusoap Vacation Repetitions, he became thinking about what goes on in the non-public lives of vacation associates while in international countries. Out of the idea he created Sunburn for BBC One. Sunburn starred Michelle Collins and was broadcast for just two series from 1999 to 2000. Bullen distributed writing responsibilities with Lizzie Mickery and Sally Wainwright. His motivation from American tv continued; following a premiere from the Western Wing in 1999, he started outlining a English version, The Company, that might be occur Buckingham Palace. The task never relocated beyond planning phases because Bullen thought that British politics issues such as for example "cod wars with Spain" aren't as "sexy" as the problems protected in The Western Wing.In 1999, Chilly Feet was adapted right into a group of the same name for American network NBC. He published the screenplay for just one from the pilot shows. At exactly the same time, NBC and Granada Entertainment USA commissioned a pilot script from Bullen entitled Little Ale, which centred on several those who dominate a microbrewery in the north-western USA.The third group of Cold Feet (2000) was extended from 6 to 8 episodes by ITV. Bullen thought the production team got protected all potential storylines in the 1st two series, so dropped to write any longer episodes. A group of five authors was employed by Granada Tv, overseen by Bullen like a co-executive maker. Four from the five authors left the group because of the scripts not becoming befitting the series, departing just David Nicholls on personnel. The writing procedure had produced Bullen think about not composing and he started thinking about additional storylines, such as for example mid-life crises and IVF. The same calendar year, he agreed upon a two-year agreement with Granada to build up new tasks. A 4th series of Frosty Foot, also of eight shows, was commissioned for 2001. Bullen announced that he didn't want to create a 5th series, which the 4th would be the final. His reasons had been that with ITV's suggested commission as high as 20 shows a calendar year, the series would become such as a cleaning soap opera. The reputation of the 4th series persuaded Bullen to create four more shows that produced the 5th series in 2003. The 5th series gained Bullen the Author of the Year Prize on the 2003 British Humor Awards.In 2002, he began growing Life Starts, a one-hour tv series. The next calendar year he conceived George the 3rd. He transferred to Australia in 2002 but continuing to focus on UK-based series.


Life Starts was inspired by Bullen's re-evaluation from the lives of individuals around him because they approached 40 years outdated. During a discussion with a pal he realised that three females he knew acquired had failed relationships by enough time they reached 40. The series was designed as a car for celebrity Sarah Lancashire, who acquired signed a special "fantastic handcuffs" cope with ITV. 8 weeks following the series was announced, Lancashire still left Life Begins, sense unable to invest in a possibly long-running series. ITV changed Lancashire with Caroline Quentin. Lifestyle Begins problems Maggie Mee, who is convinced she is within a relationship with her hubby Phil (Alexander Armstrong). When Phil announces on a family group holiday that he's departing her, she realises that she must start her life once again. Bullen published the series with John Forte. The 1st series was broadcast in 2004. Much like Cold Ft, he integrated occasions from his personal life in to the storylines; Maggie's dad is suffering from Alzheimer's disease as will among Bullen's own family members. He investigated Maggie's travel company work by spending weekly at a travel providers' in Bristol.In 2003 Bullen produced a trip to Perth's Little Screen Big Picture. Within the come back lower leg, after 12 hours of viewing only the Nullarbor Simple through the teach window, he started developing a brief subject matter on infidelity at tv conferences. The brief, entitled Amorality Story, which designated Bullen's directorial debut, was screened at numerous film celebrations in 2005, and was a finalist for the 1st Rosemount Diamond in the Jackson Opening Film Festival. Within the themes from the film, Bullen stated, "What has constantly interested me may be the idea of normal people and exactly how they react in normal circumstances […] what fascinated me may be the method we reach the options we make. The thought of this film is certainly to state that the options we make may not lead to the final results we anticipate." He previously expressed curiosity about directing an bout of Frosty Feet, but chose against it on the foundation that his inexperience would make him "insufficient" which the work was best still left to professional directors. The brief was made by Pommie Granite Productions, an organization create by Bullen after his exceptional agreement with Granada finished in Sept 2004. By the end of 2004, he became the seventh person to rewrite the script from the DreamWorks/Aardman Animations film Tortoise vs. Hare. He produced at least three drafts.Alongside the next group of Life Starts, Bullen continued developing George the 3rd. The name was transformed to It Happens till settling on ABOUT George with time for filming in 2005. ABOUT George starred Rik Mayall as George Kinsey, a contractor whose life is definitely transformed when six decades of his family members transfer to his home. In the beginning worked up about the series when he went to the cast read-throughs, Bullen's optimism waned by enough time it had been broadcast as he experienced there were way too many heroes as well as the series' idea unclear. Inside a 2008 interview, he identifies it as you of his most severe TV series. Existence Starts returned for any third and last series in 2006. The same yr, filming commenced on Tripping Over, a string about intercontinental backpackers in 1976 and 2006. SeaChange authors Andrew Knight and Andrea Denholm conceived the theory in 2003 and asked Bullen, a pal of Knight's, to build up it with them. A co-production between Australia's Route Ten and Britain's Five, Tripping Over was broadcast in both countries by the end of 2006.


In 2007, Bullen was approached by David Maher, a Fox World producer, who commissioned him to create a television pilot for UKTV. Bullen decided and spent a "torturous" period trying to create a concept for the script. Carrying on his trend when planning on taking tips from true to life, he made a decision to write about a family group moving from the united kingdom to Australia. The pilot, entitled Make or Break, was also Bullen's tv directoral debut. United kingdom professional Robson Green acquired recently completed focus on "Prayer from the Bone tissue", a one-off particular bout of Wire in the Bloodstream set in america. Green and Cable manufacturer Sandra Jobling regarded another special event occur Australia. Green recommended asking Bullen to create the event and Bullen responded by requesting Green if he'd prefer to play the business lead in Make or Break. Fox Globe delivered the script to Green and he agreed upon on. As the pilot was Bullen's initial attempt at directing tv, he sought tips through the experienced production staff, specifically the movie director of picture taking. The pilot was initially transmit in March 2008. Bullen and Fox Globe sought financial purchase from a UK creation company to build up a full-length series.This year 2010, Bullen wrote his initial screenplay for the BBC since Sunburn; Reunited can be a pilot about six close friends who once distributed a house jointly reuniting after eight years. Bullen accepted that his profession was "declining" before he produced Reunited, and he also moved back again to the united kingdom for five a few months although it was created. He considers Reunited his greatest work because the end of Cool Foot. The pilot received just 3.3 million viewers when it had been broadcast, and a string had not been commissioned. Bullen provides since discussed various other tasks with Ed Byrne, among the stars in the pilot.Bullen and his family returned to the united kingdom in 2011; Bullen informed The Manly Daily "I realised easily still will possess a UK-based tv career I have to be located in the united kingdom." By 2012, Bullen offers three tv series in advancement with British tv networks.

Personal life

Bullen is married to Lisa Bullen, whom he met even though working on the BBC. They possess two kids: Maggie (delivered 1997) and Rachel (delivered 1999). In 2002 the family members shifted to Avalon, New South Wales. They afterwards shifted to Newport, New South Wales and became Australian people in 2005. The family members returned to the united kingdom in 2011.

List of works

Screenplays AN IDEAL Match (1995) Humor Premieres: Cold Ft (1997, pilot) Chilly Ft (1998–2003) Sunburn (1999–2000) Existence Begins (2004–2006) ABOUT George (2005) Amorality Story (2005) Help to make or Break (2008, pilot) Reunited (2010, pilot) Unmade scripts Chilly Ft (1998, American pilot) Little Ale (1999, American pilot) Tortoise vs. Hare (2004, feature film rewrite) Movie director credits Amorality Tale (2005) Make or Break (2008) Performing appearances Humor Premieres: Chilly Feet (1997) as Acting professional Chilly Feet Series 1, Show 1 (1998) as Guy on Telephone Series 1, Show 2 (1998) as Neighbour Series 1, Show 3 (1998) as Guy in shower (picture erased) Series 1, Show 4 (1998) as Japanese Woman's Spouse Series 3, Show 8 (2000) as Workman Series 4, Show 6 (2001) as Charles (uncredited) Joanne Lees: Murder in the Outback (2007) as Television Producer


Tibballs, Geoff (2000). Cool Feet: THE VERY BEST Parts…. London: Granada Mass media. ISBN 0-233-99924-8. Smith, Rupert (2003). Cool Feet: THE ENTIRE Partner. London: Granada Mass media. ISBN 0-233-00999-X.