Deric Longden was born in Chesterfield in 1936 and married Diana Hill in 1957. They had two children, Sally and Nick. After various jobs he took over a small factory making women's lingerie, but began writing and broadcasting in the 1970s and before long he was writing regularly for programmes like 'Does He Take Sugar?' and 'Womans Hour'. Most of his work was based on his own experience. The demands made on him by Diana's illness, subsequently believed to be a form of ME, forced him to sell the factory, and since then he has devoted himself to full-time writing, broadcasting, lecturing and after-dinner speaking.
Dianaís Story, published in 1989, some years after Diana's death, was a bestseller. The book hit the Sunday Times best seller list straight away, won the NCR book award. It was followed by Lost for Words, The Cat Who Came in from the Cold, Iím a Stranger Here Myself, Enough to Make a Cat Laugh and A Play On Words. Deric Longden's first two books were adapted for television under the title Wide-Eyed and Legless, and an adaptation of Lost for Words. Both were nominated for multiple BAFTAs and Lost For Words, screened in January 1999, attracting an audience of more than 12 million viewers and won the Emmy for best foreign drama and a BAFTA for Thora Hird as best actress.
He married the writer Aileen Armitage in 1990 and now lives in Huddersfield. Aileen and he were jointly were awarded honorary Doctor of Literature from Huddersfield University in 2004 and Deric a honorary Master of Letters from Derby University in 2006.
After years of battling cancer he died in June 2013.
Below are some of the tributes to Deric: