About Me

I live in South London in the UK – an area called Crystal Palace. I’m a professional writer and film director, amateur photographer and avid gadget-lover. I’ve filmed on every continent apart from South America. From that experience I learned a whole lot about fairly obvious things such as what all sorts of countries look and feel like, about many forms of travel from cruise ships to Zodiacs, from 747’s to two-seater helicopters; I discovered the reality of life in five-star hotels and tents in the desert, and what the insides of hundreds of airports look like. But perhaps more importantly, I learned a whole lot about less obvious things such as human nature in general and my own self in particular.

I gave up work in the film industry some years ago to concentrate on my writing. That takes up most of my days now. One of the results is a very recently published novel entitled “Albatross – the scent of honeysuckle”.

Albatross  cover

The photograph on the front cover was taken in the little park which I look out on from my kitchen window. The pushchair (‘stroller’ if you prefer) I bought on Ebay for a very modest sum. At present I’m working on another novel – “Your Show, Pete”. It’s set in the UK and Australia. It centres around a location in North Queensland that I filmed in many years ago. It tells of a man and a woman from the UK, in their early thirties who, while working together in difficult conditions in a remote area, try to gain psychological ascendancy each over the other. They end up creating a tragedy that echoes down their own lives and those of their close families.

I have four children – a girl and three boys – from two marriages. My partner today – and for the rest of the days – is a lovely lady (referred to as ‘W’ in my blog) with two grown-up boys of her own. I guess it’s a sign of the times that only two of our six children are at present living in the UK.

What leisure time I have is usually devoted to watching films, listening to music, going away in Ruby our camper van, and/or bird-watching. On on top of that, I have a great liking for Indian food, shared – fortunately – by W.

More years ago than I care to remember one of the Public Information Films I directed for UK television is still making waves on You Tube and various websites around the world. It’s commonly referred to as, ‘Dark and Lonely Water’. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg6IVUvVsAs)  And to answer a question I’ve often been asked  –  yes, the voice is that of Donald Pleasance.

The following is the link to ‘Albatross’ on Amazon –



22 Responses to About Me

  1. tonyearnshaw says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I would like to interview you about this film. Notwithstanding the detail in your blog above, would you consent to a chat?


    Tony Earnshaw (antony_earnshaw@sky.com)

  2. tonyearnshaw says:

    I’m referring to Dark and Lonely Water…

  3. Yo Yo! says:

    Love!!! the photo of the beach denizen (the cropped dsc_88044.jpg). Where is this beautiful black strand?

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog – about games and politics, children in playgrounds, and a thoroughly lovely, un-newsworthy “riot”. But you haven’t posted recently. I hope you can and will soon do so again.

    • besonian says:

      Yo Yo – many thanks. It’s always good to hear that sort of feedback. And in this case, a bit surprising – it’s a long time – as you observe – since I last posted. The only reason for that is time. Each one of my posts was taking me a day to write and at the same time I was writing a novel. Something had to give. However, the book is now almost finished and I’m tempted to take up posting once again. Encouragement such as yours sure helps! As for the ‘beautiful black strand’ – it’s on the eastern coast of La Palma, the most westerly of the Canary Isles. It’s a most beautiful island. Anyway, thank you again for your comments. I shall think seriously about taking up the blog once more very soon. Jeff

  4. Stephen Brotherstone says:

    Hi Jeff,

    I read with interest your blog post about ‘Dark And Lonely Water’, absolutely fascinating stuff. I’m co-authoring a book called ‘Scarred For Life’, about the dark side of growing up in the 1970s. It’ll feature pieces on all those wonderfully scary kids shows, comics, films, toys and games, and we’re planning a massive section about public information films, with Lonely Water as one of the central films, due to it’s continuing influence and legacy.

    I wanted to ask you two big favours:
    A) Could I take some quotes from your blog post for our Lonely Water article? It’d be great if we could some behind-the-scenes tales direct from the horses mouth, as it were.
    B) It would be wonderful if we could get some more thoughts from you – in particular we were wondering what, if anything, influenced your direction of ‘Lonely Water’ (to my generation it felt like Hammer Horror for kids!), and what scared you as a child?

    I understand that you must be awfully busy, so your answers can be as brief or as long as you like!

    Many, many thanks in advance for your time (and for scaring the pants of me all those years ago…).,

    Stephen Brotherstone

  5. Hi Jeff,
    I’ve recently read your post on the Compact Horror ‘filler’ Lonely Water. It was most interesting reading about the filming process and your thoughts while making it.
    I’m currently writing a Research Paper for the MA Fine Art Digital course at Camberwell University of Arts. My paper will compare and contrast 2 Public Information Films from the 1970s. One Live action-Lonely Water, the other animated- Charlie Says) to a modern day PIF which is undecided at the time of writing though with an aspect of fear. I would be very grateful if I could mail you 2/3 questions about Lonely Water. Apologies for pestering you.

    Jason Murray

    • besonian says:

      Hello Jason,

      Please don’t apologize. I’m delighted the old thing still stirs up the comments and interest that it does. Yes, by all means, ask away. I presume you’re aware of its Wikipedia page? If not, although it takes quite a bit from my blog, it still adds stuff you may find useful. And just out of interest, a book on those old PIF’s by a couple of guys in the north is due out sometime this year in which ‘DLW’ has a few pages to itself.

      If you contact me, can you do it through my email address please, which is –



      Jeff Grant

  6. coachjerry says:

    Thanks for reading my post, “There Are No Coincidences” and following my 80Insights.com blog. I hope you’ll stop by often and offer your viewpoints. Your background and interests will provide for some interesting discussion.

  7. Sue Vincent says:

    I remember that PI film vividly …more years ago than I care to remember too!

    • besonian says:

      Hi Sue – I’m constantly surprised, and pleased – obviously – that it hit the nerves it did. But as its object was to deter children from playing in or near stretches of water like that gravel pit, it failed dismally with one guy who said, on YouTube, that is so scared him it put him off swimming for life. Suspect it’s a bit of an exaggeration!

      • Sue Vincent says:

        I was already old enough to know better when it came out, but I have two younger brothers who would have fitted right into that film. It wasn’t one you could ignore!

  8. Pingback: Guest author: Jeff B. Grant | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  9. Steve Barclay says:

    Hi Jeff,
    The DLW film is of course a classic, I was wondering if you’d directed any others at around the same time- the one that I always found most disturbing was the Fireworks Blind Child one, did you do that was by any chance?
    Regards Steve Barclay

    • besonian says:

      Hi Steve,
      Yes, I directed a number of PFI’s but I’d have difficulty now remembering what they all were. I can remember doing a fireworks one, but whether or not it was that one, I can’t tell you. I was so busy in those days with TV and cinema commercials, along with things like PFI’s, that a bit of a production line mentality grew up. Which wasn’t in any way to denigrate the quality of what we produced, just that one production in retrospect tended to blend in the memory with the next. Apart from DLW and the fireworks one, all I can recall with certainty was the first one I ever did – for the blood transfusion service. And a later one which was again to do with children in trouble in water – aimed at persuading people to learn to swim. That’s not very comprehensive response, I’m afraid – I hope, even so, it’s of some interest.

  10. Steve Barclay says:

    Thanks for the reply, all the best 😁

  11. willowdot21 says:

    Well you have had a very interesting life! I remember that public information film too. 😁💜

    • besonian says:

      Hello willowdot21 – nice to see you here. Yes, I’ve had few moments, one way or another! And so many people remember that film. One man on YouTube said he remembered it so well it put him off swimming for life! Not really what was intended. And incidentally, there’s also a Wikipedia page on ‘Dark and Lonely Water’. My youngest son contributed some of that, but where the majority of it’s come from I don’t know.

      • willowdot21 says:

        Well fame or notoriety, it’s a fine line. We all have our moments one way or another. It’s very nice to meet you 💜😀

  12. cindy knoke says:

    “I learned a whole lot about less obvious things such as human nature in general and my own self in particular.”
    I can so relate to learning this from travel.
    I was a psychotherapist, for decades, and it is very good that I can still realize how little I know from travel.
    I always knew, whatever I knew, it wasn’t enough.
    Which is true for all of us.
    It’s good to stay aware of this. It keeps us humble. So when seriously bad stuff happens, which it will, we aren’t stunned and surprised by our reversal of fortune.
    I like what you do here.

    • besonian says:

      Hi Cindy – interesting comment. Thank you. One of the very most important things I learned from travel all over the world and working often in trying circumstances, a long way from home for lengthy periods, is that in the end, we are all the same. Whatever colour, creed, religion etc – Othello’s line applies – “Prick me, do I not bleed?” The rest is superficial. As you say, such things help us retain some humility. Trouble is though, the world at present really seems run by people – mostly my own gender, unfortunately – who deal exclusively in the superficial and act therefrom on the world stage. It can’t bode well.

      And another really valuable thing of which travel and other peoples have persuaded me is that the ‘stuff’ that happens to us in life is, in itself, neither good nor bad. It’s neutral. It’s our reaction to it that creates what we see as good or bad fortune. Therefore, if we have a problem with the ‘stuff’, it is ourselves who are that problem. Again, as Shakespeare – who was so extraordinarily perceptive – wrote in Hamlet (though this may not be word perfect) – “There is neither good nor bad but thinking makes it so.” That, to me, has been a valuable insight.

      And thank you very much for your final line. I appreciate that. Take care.

  13. besonian says:

    And you willowdot21. Sorry about the long delay in responding to your comment. As you say, the line is fine between fame and notoriety. And if I’m honest, both have their attraction! But in the end, the most important thing is what the individual, makes of his or her fame and/or notoriety. I think and hope that both have given me lessons I’ve taken to heart.

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