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British Crime Classic Get Carter Turns 50

Get Carter turns 50 this year – but how many people know Ted Lewis as the author of the book behind it?

Lewis grew up in Barton-upon-Humber. He attended Hull College of Arts and Crafts before heading to London in the early 1960s. He worked as a lead animator on The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine film before writing the noir masterpiece Jack’s Return Home in 1970.

Returning to the landscape of his youth for his ruthless tale of murder and revenge, within a year Lewis’s story had been adapted as the 1971 classic Get Carter, directed by Mike Hodges and starring Michael Caine as Jack Carter, a London mob enforcer who returns to his home town to investigate the death of his brother.

Lewis’s biographer and Hull Noir co-organiser, Nick Triplow, said:

“2021 sees the 50th anniversary of Get Carter and we couldn’t let that pass without celebrating one of the greatest British crime films and paying our dues to Lewis and Jack’s Return Home.

“Set in Scunthorpe and the Humber locations where Lewis came of age, it’s hard to think of a more groundbreaking marriage of book and film, especially one that stands up to repeated viewing and generates so much ongoing interest.

“Our panels take the themes of Lewis’s writing – and a nod to his love of cinema – and use them as a start point from which to explore the contemporary crime fiction world.”

As part of the anniversary and to coincide with Hull Noir, a new paperback edition of Nick’s acclaimed Ted Lewis biography, Getting Carter: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir is being published by No Exit Press.

Hull Noir 2021 kicks off on Friday March 19 with Nick Quantrill in conversation with bestselling author of the Inspector Banks series, Peter Robinson.

Saturday 20 March

In Cold Blood - 10-11am

As the wheels of crime fiction turn, three new and exciting voices, Alex North, Nell Pattison and Russ Thomas give the lowdown about their novels, what it’s like to start out (and start again), and discuss what comes next. Hosted by Liz Mistry.

Get Carter and Beyond - 11.30am-12.30pm

With the landmark British crime film Get Carter turning 50, we’ll hear from Nick Triplow - biographer of Ted Lewis, from whose novel the film’s script was adapted - as well as Hull’s Nick Quantrill about bringing crime fiction to the Humber, and journey to 1970s Glasgow with Alan Parks to explore Lewis’s enduring influence on crime writing. Hosted by Ali Harper.

Wish You Were Here – 1.30-2.30pm

Crime fiction’s thirst for new territories remains undiminished, bringing us new landscapes or fresh perspectives on the places we thought we knew. Under the watchful eye of Jacky Collins, Helen FitzGerald, Abir Mukherjee, and Marnie Riches uncover the crime culture influences of fire-ravaged Australia, Raj-era India, and the contemporary streets of Manchester, to consider what makes them tick.

The Unusual Suspects – 3-4pm

Since Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, Murders in the Rue Morgue, and his creation of

C. Auguste Dupin, first published in 1841, the police detective has become a staple of crime fiction. But what of the new breed? Louise Beech, AA Dhand, and Harriet Tyce come together to talk about their own criminal creations, and what makes them different, ably aided and abetted by Derek Farrell.

Look Back in Anger - 4.30 – 5.30pm

In the writing of Ian McGuire, Laura Shepherd-Robinson, and Cathi Unsworth, historical crime fiction feels fresh, dynamic and insightful. In conversation with Rhiannon Ward, they discuss the ‘power of the strange’ in the lives, times and crimes they write about, and what their explorations of the past can tell us about ourselves now.

Watching the Detectives - 6pm- 7pm

Aided and abetted by Luca Veste, Mark Billingham and Chris Brookmyre go full Holmes and Watson to investigate the scene of contemporary crime fiction. Sharing the secrets of their mind palaces, they examine 20 years of Mark’s acclaimed DI Thorne series, their new novels, what it’s like to be part-time rock stars, and pretty much everything in-between.

All panels are free of charge to attend, although there’s a donate page for anyone wanting to make a contribution to the future running of the Festival. Follow the Hull Noir Facebook and twitter (@hullnoir) for all the most up to date information.

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