Christopher Nicholson was brought up in north Surrey, some thirty miles south of London. At Cambridge University he studied under the late modernist poet Jeremy Prynne. Soon after Cambridge he spent three years as a community development worker in rural Cornwall. In 1981 he moved to London and got a job as a scriptwriter with the BBC World Service; he stayed with the BBC until the mid 1990s, off and on, making and presenting feature programmes and documentaries. Some won awards. In this period he twice resigned from the BBC staff to find more time for writing. During the late 1990s and early 2000s he did a good deal of freelance work for the BBC’s Chinese Service. He has written full-time since then, and now lives on the northern edges of Dorset.