Michelle Magorian Author and Actress

Michelle trained for the theatre at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in the late sixties and at Marcel Marceau’s L’École Internationale de Mime in Paris. She has a postgraduate Certificate in Film Studies (BFI/London University), an Honorary Doctorate (Portsmouth University) and has been made a Fellow of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.

Her first novel Goodnight Mister Tom has won awards in the UK, America and Australia and has been translated into over eleven languages, the most recent being Turkish and Chinese and has been adapted as a radio series in Sweden and Norway. A shortened version has been read as an audio book by Patrick Malahide and in 2022, the unabridged version originally read for the RNIB by Christopher Saul has also been released as an audio book.

As Mikki Magorian she has performed in plays, musicals and one-woman shows, has written the book and lyrics for the musical version of Goodnight Mister Tom (Composer Gary Carpenter),  Sea Change (Composer Stephen Keeling, Arrangements George Venner), Tinsel (Composer Bob Buckley) and Hello Life! (Composer Alexander L’Estrange).  A few years after Goodnight Mister Tom was performed in Manchester and Ipswich, it was screened on television starring the late John Thaw, winning seven television awards including a BAFTA.

A play version of it opened at Chichester Festival Theatre with Oliver Ford Davies as Mister Tom before going on a regional tour.  The cast received wonderful reviews and standing ovations in the fourteen theatres where they appeared. Behind the scenes, the four-part dramatisation of Back Home was broadcast again on Radio 4 Extra while Mikki was commuting to the Audio GO studio in Bath where she was being recorded reading, another of her books A Little Love Song. The play toured again with David Troughton playing Mister Tom. Her other novels are Cuckoo in the Nest, A Spoonful of Jam (Third in the Irish Best Seller list),  Just Henry (a Costa Award winner) and Impossible! (nominated for a CILIP Carnegie Medal).

Just Henry was made into a ninety-minute drama by ITV Productions with a talented cast including Josh Bolt, Sheila Hancock, Dean Andrews, and Barbara Flynn. It was chosen as one of Radio Times’ 12 Christmas Cracker treats.

An adaptation of Back Home was made for television twice. The first one, starring Hayley Mills won the Gold Award at the New York Film and Television Festival in 1990.

Michelle has just finished two new adult novels.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Manuela

    Hi Michelle

    Don’t know if you remember me from Dartmouth.
    Just wanted to say that I loved your books. Hope you are well.


  2. Neil Shanahan

    Dear Michelle , I am a primary school teacher in Dublin Ireland. Our school (Oatlands primary) has used Goodnight Mister Tom for many years and it is the one book I never tire of reading. The children were in tears of laughter this year while reading it. The contrast that Zachs character brings adds so much to the story. I truly love that book and i look forward to reading your other works. Any tips for an aspiring novelist ? You have inspired me

    1. Heather

      Dear Neil
      Thank you so much for your message. Michelle is right in the middle of writing a new book so won’t have time to send you any tips(!). Can I point you in the direction of the “Interviews” tab next to “About Michelle”. I’m sure a lot of your questions will be answered there. Thanks again for your support and we’re so glad you love her books and keep your eye out for info on the new book – she has a facebook page too.
      All the best
      Heather (Michelle’s website person).

  3. Matt


    My name is Matt, I’m 23 and I currently teach English in China. I grew up watching the film adaptation of Goodnight Mister Tom which my grandparents showed me originally. I later read the book in primary school, and many, many times since. It means that much to me that I actually brought it over to China when I first moved!

    I recently showed the film to my Chinese girlfriend, she loved it! She tried reading my battered copy of the novel but struggled a little, but I’ve just noticed it has recently been translated to Chinese, I may have to buy it for her when I next come home to England!

    Anyway, after watching the film again, it has lead me to wonder what transpired post book/film. I wonder if you could share any ideas you had for the characters?

    For example what would William have decided to pursue as a career? How smooth was Tom’s raising of William especially taking into account Toms age and the trauma William had suffered.

    I’d also like to know your thoughts on the film itself, how did it compare to your novel?

    I loved both!

    I’d appreciate any response, apologies for the long message.



    1. Heather

      Dear Matt
      Thank you so much for your message. Michelle is right in the middle of writing a new book so won’t have time to answer your questions. Can I point you in the direction of the “Interviews” tab next to “About Michelle”. I’m sure a lot of your questions will be answered there. Thanks again for your support and we’re so glad you love her books.
      Heather (Michelle’s website person).

  4. Cher Keeley

    Hello, firstly would just like to Thank You for writing Goodnight Mr Tom. I have enjoyed reading immensely over the years. I do have one question when I was younger I swear that there was another movie/tv movie/tv show made that wasn’t the John Thaw one. I can vividly remember details about this movie from your book. I’m positive I’m not mad lol please help me..

    1. Heather

      I asked Michelle and she replied “I’m wondering if Cher might be confusing the two television adaptations of Back Home. There was a reading of a cut version of Goodnight Mister Tom on Radio 4, unless she saw the musical version of it somewhere.

      There has only been one television adaptation. There is a dubbed French version!”

  5. Ibrahim

    Hello dear Michelle
    This is Ibrahim from Turkey. I have Good Night Mister Tom in Turkish. I’m curently reading it . I am actually an English teacher. Could I ask you for a signed note or a bookmark or both ? 🙂 Thank you for writing.
    Best regards ,

  6. Ian bennett

    Hi would just like to say that our local youth theatre Havant dynamo near Portsmouth is putting on good night mr tom over next few days
    Would like to say a big thank you for writing a wonderful book

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