Ray Connolly has written novels, movies, television films and series, radio plays, short stories and much journalism. Brought up in Lancashire, after graduating from the London School of Economics – where he read social anthropology – he began a career in journalism as a sub-editor at the Liverpool Daily Post. Between 1967 and 1973 he wrote a weekly interview column for the London Evening Standard – concentrating mainly on popular culture and music. Since then he has written for the Sunday Times, The Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Observer and the Daily Mail.

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Working with producer David Puttnam, he wrote the original screenplays for the films That’ll Be The Day and Stardust, and wrote and directed the feature length documentary James Dean: The First American Teenager. He has also written for television, most notably the films Forever Young and Defrosting The Fridge, and the series Lytton’s Diary and Perfect Scoundrels. He also co-wrote the George Martin documentary trilogy about music, The Rhythm of Life, for BBC2.

His first novel, A Girl Who Came To Stay, was published in 1973, and has been followed by several others, including Sunday Morning, Shadows On A Wall and Love Out Of Season. There have also been the biographies Being Elvis – A Lonely Life and Being John Lennon – A Restless Life. His latest novella, ‘Sorry, Boys, You Failed the Audition’, which is based on a play he originally wrote for Radio 4, was published in book form in 2019.

For radio he wrote Lost Fortnight, which was about Raymond Chandler in Hollywood, and Unimaginable, which concerned the 24 hours around the death of John Lennon, whom he was due to see on the day the former Beatle was murdered. In 2010 he adapted one strand of his novel Love Out Of Season as the radio play God Bless Our Love.

He is married to Plum Connolly, has three children and two grandchildren, and lives in London.

Latest news

Shadows on a Wall – just republished in paperback & digital

Shadows on a Wall – just republished in paperback & digital

‘Probably the best novel about movie making ever written’


A limousine is discovered at the bottom of a river. Inside are the bodies of two world famous Hollywood stars, a young film director and a famous rock musician. Meanwhile not far away a movie about Napoleon is massively over-budget and the producer has gone missing…

Part mystery, part black-comedy, Shadows On A Wall is also a love story of many parts: there is the screenwriter who writes a role for his girlfriend and sees it taken from her; the producer who is desperate to please his French wife, a former sex-star; and there is the growing friendship between an English schoolgirl actress and a young film editor.

Mainly, though, Shadows On A Wall is the story of people in love with movies – and what really happens when they go on location.

What the critics said:

‘Probably the best novel about movie making ever written’ – Sunday Express

‘Bright and blackly funny…the War and Peace of Hollywood novels. Highly recommended’ – New York Library Journal

‘Shadows On A Wall belongs on that select shelf of good literature about Hollywood alongside Robert Stone’s Children Of The Light and Michael Tolkin’s The Player’ – Washington Post

‘Without doubt the best movie story I have ever read. A brilliant mixture of irony, comedy and pathos’ – Publishing News

‘Satire…with a couple of black comedy surprises that would have delighted Alfred Hitchcock’ – San Francisco Chronicle

‘A smart, funny, knowing novel – this book would make a great movie’ – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

‘Shadows On A Wall never falters. This bitter-sweet comedy about the making of a movie epic kept me engaged through every scene, laughing here, worrying there, fascinated always by the absurdity and the reality of it all. Epic and massively entertaining’ – National Public Radio (US)

‘Darkly funny’ – Seattle Times

‘Readers will certainly delight in the roller coaster ride of action packed and tragic events” – Booklist

‘Hilarious – a wonderfully ironic black comedy’ – Buzz

‘Excellent – so accurate and so cutting is the portrait Connolly paints that even citizens of Tinseltown should give it the thumbs up’ – Publishers Weekly (US)

‘Imagine The Player crossed with Reds and then throw in Hugh Grant and Quentin Tarantino. It’s sure to wow ’em on the beaches’ – Entertainment Weekly (US)

‘Connolly is both true to life and inventive. He knows how movie people behave and talk, and he knows how to tell a big story’ – Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

‘A delightful and irreverent side-swipe at Hollywood’ – South China Morning Post