For the British saxophone player, see Alan Wakeman

Alan Wakeman
Born(1936-06-19)19 June 1936
Catford, London
Died8 August 2015(2015-08-08) (aged 79)
Soho, London

Alan Wakeman (19 June 1936 – 8 August 2015) was a British author, playwright, vegan and gay rights activist.


He was born in London and grew up in Coulsdon, Surrey. He attended Purley Grammar School and later did National Service in Singapore and Sri Lanka (then Ceylon). He worked as an architect before spending three years in France, after which he returned to Britain to work as a teacher of English as a foreign languages.[1] Between 1967 and c. 1973 wrote an English language course called English Fast, which sold steadily for several decades. From the 1970s onward, he became a staunch member of the Gay Liberation Front. He wrote the first GLF song, A Gay Song (which was played at his funeral service) and was a founding member of the theatre troupe Gay Sweatshop in 1974.[2] For nearly fifty years, he lived in Soho, London and became a dedicated campaigner against development of historical sites.

Wakeman was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1970.[1] He became a vegan in the 1970s and stated that "despite my early concerns for animal welfare - my original reasons for changing to my present vegan whole-food diet, were concerned more with health than ethics".[1][3] He co-authored an early vegan cookbook with Gordon Baskerville in 1986.[3]

Doctor Who

In 1963, Wakeman was commissioned to write a serial for the first season of Doctor Who, which was then still in development. He produced a four-part story called The Living World, but the production team deemed the script "far too adult" for the programme being broadcast on Saturday evening, and was never proceeded with.[4] Wakeman was paid a half fee of £75 for the work he had done.[4] When the series was revived in 2005, Wakeman offered the unmade story to the series a second time, though it was not produced on this occasion either. The script was eventually published in the magazine Nothing at the End of the Lane in 2012.[4]


Wakeman died in August 2015, aged 79 after suffering for many years from diabetes. His funeral was held at St Anne's Church, Soho.[5] He died soon after the publication of his autobiography Fragments of Joy and Sorrow.

Partial bibliography

Title Date Genre Publisher ISBN Notes
Londoners' London 1969 Photography Rapp & Whiting 9780853911005 co-written with Michel Arnaud
Tim, Willie and the Wurgles 1976 Children's fiction Abelard 0200722956 Illustrated by Chris Turnbull
Hamun and Giben 1978 Flash fiction Gemini 095140931X Also illustrator
The Vegan Cookbook 1986 Recipe book Faber & Faber 9780571178049 co-written with Gordon Baskerville
Beloved Friend 1989 Poetry Gemini 9780951409305
Unzipped 2007 Poetry Gemini 9780951409329
Fragments of Joy & Sorrow 2015 Memoir Gemini 9780951409336


  1. ^ a b c "Archived page, formerly Wakeman's website (no longer active)". Archived from the original on 30 September 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Norwich Pride". Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Alan Wakeman Obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b c "Doctor Who News". Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  5. ^ "West End Extra". Retrieved 27 October 2017.