Jed Mercurio

Jed Mercurio

Jed Mercurio is a novelist who regularly works in TV as a writer, producer and director. His books are Bodies (2002), Ascent (2007), American Adulterer (2009) and, for children, the Penguin Expedition (2003). He grew up in England and currently splits his work between London and Los Angeles.

Jed trained at the University of Birmingham Medical School and, following an internship in trauma surgery, he practiced as a resident in internal medicine for three years. While still a medical student, he joined the Royal Air Force and received extensive flying training, with the intention of becoming a physician-pilot. Instead, after replying to an advertisement placed in the British Medical Journal, Jed detoured into writing the controversial, ground-breaking BBC medical drama Cardiac Arrest (under the pseudonym John MacUre). The show was a gritty and blackly comic expose of hospital life. Jed went from never having written a script to creating a primetime hit.

Next he scripted the 6-hour miniseries Invasion: Earth, a coproduction between the BBC and the US Sci-Fi Channel, before returning to dark medical fiction with his first novel, Bodies, published by Jonathan Cape (2002). He adapted the novel for TV, winning the Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama Series of 2005. Bodies dealt unflinchingly with issues of negligence, cover-ups and whistleblowing. Following broadcast on BBC America in 2008, Bodies was ranked #2 Best Show of the Year by Entertainment Weekly; in December 2009 The Times ranked it #9 TV Show of the Decade and in January 2010 it was ranked #20 Best TV Drama of All Time by the Guardian.

After writing a children's book, The Penguin Expedition, Jed's second novel, Ascent, was published by Jonathan Cape (UK) and Simon and Schuster (US) in 2007 and made the Guardian's list of "1000 Novels Everyone Must Read". Ascent tells the story of a fictional Soviet fighter pilot, later cosmonaut, set against the background of the Korean War and the Space Race.

In 2007 Jed wrote and directed a modern-day television film of Frankenstein, starring James Purefoy, Helen McCrory and Lindsay Duncan.

Jed Mercurio's latest novel for Cape and Simon & Schuster, American Adulterer, a fictionalization of President John F. Kennedy's personal life, was published in Spring 2009. The paperback will be published in March 2010.

Jed's next published work will be a graphic novelization of Ascent, coming out in 2011.

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