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Keith Andrew Topping (born in Walkermarker, Tynesidemarker), is an author, journalist and broadcaster most closely associated with his work relating to the BBC Television series Doctor Who and for writing numerous official and unofficial guide books to a wide variety of television and film series, specifically Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

He is also the author of two books of rock music critique. To date, Topping has written over 40 books.

Early life and background

Keith Topping's parents were Thomas Topping (1918-1991) and Lily Lamb (b. 1920) and he has two older brothers, Terrence John (b. 1944) and Thomas Colin (b. 1948). Topping's family have Irishmarker, Scottishmarker, East Anglian (Snape, Suffolkmarker, Great Yarmouthmarker) and Cumbrian (Crosby-on-Edenmarker) roots as well as North Eastern. He is a distant relative of the Morpeth landscape artist Thomas Bowman Garvie (1859-1944). Topping could be said to be following in a family tradition through his writing as his great- great-uncle was the Tyneside journalist and columnist Albert Elliott.

Topping attended Wharrier Street Infant and Junior school between 1968 and 1975 and Walker Comprehensive School between 1975 and 1982 leaving with an 'A' level in History and 6 'O' levels.

He worked for the Civil Service as an Administrative Officer in the, then, Department of Employment between 1983 and 2001 when he left to pursue a full-time freelance writing career.

Work

One of the leading players in British Doctor Who fandom's fan-fiction movement during the 1980s, Topping's first published fiction was the BBC Books "Past Doctor Adventure" The Devil Goblins from Neptune in 1997. The novel was co-written with his friend and frequent collaborator Martin Day.

The pair quickly followed this up with the acclaimed novel The Hollow Men in 1998.

Following Day's move into TV scripting, Topping wrote the novels The King of Terror (2000) and Byzantium! (2001) solo. The latter novel is the only BBC Books Past Doctor Adventure to be set entirely within one episode of the television series Doctor Who — 1965's The Romans by Dennis Spooner.

Topping also wrote the Telos Doctor Who novella Ghost Ship which was published in 2002 and proved so popular that it was one of only two novellas reissued as a paperback edition in 2003.

As well as writing fiction, Topping has also authored numerous programme guides to television series as diverse as The X Files, The Avengers, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Sweeney and The Professionals. These were all published by Virgin Books, and co-written with Martin Day and Paul Cornell.

Cornell, Day and Topping also collaborated on the popular Doctor Who Discontinuity Guide, published by Virgin Books in 1995 and re-issued, in the US, by MonkeyBrain Books in 2004, a lighthearted guide to the mistakes and incongruities of the television series.

The trio had first worked together co-writing two editions of The Guinness Book of Classic British Television (1993 and 1996 respectively).

Subsequently, Topping wrote The Complete Slayer: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Every Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a number of related texts on this popular series as well as guide books to The West Wing (Inside Bartlet's White House), Angel (Hollywood Vampire), 24 (A Day in the Life) and Stargate SG-1 (Beyond the Gate), amongst others. According to the 2003 book Slayer Slang by Michael Adams (Oxford University Press), Topping was the originator of the word 'vampiry' (adj. "exhibiting features of a vampire") in the January 2000 edition of his book Slayer (pg. 26).

In addition, Topping is a regular contributor of articles and reviews to several TV and genre titles including TV Zone, Xposé and Shivers and is a former Contributing Editor of Dreamwatch. He also worked as Project Consultant on Charmed: The Complete DVD Collection.

On radio, Topping was the Producer/Presenter of the monthly Book Club (2005-2007) and currently co-presents a daily television review slot, Monday to Friday, on The Simon Logan Show for BBC Newcastle.

He has also contributed to the BBC television series' I Love the '70s, Call The Cops and The Perfect Detective and has written for Sounds, the Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Times Culture Supplement and many other magazines and periodicals.

Topping writes, and occasionally performs, stand-up comedy and has written radio comedy sketches, an (unproduced) stage play and a TV pilot (with Martin Day) that is, currently, stuck in “Development Hell.”

Topping continues to live and work on Tyneside. He achieved a lifetimes ambition in 2005 when his book on The Beatles, Do You Want to Know a Secret was published by Virgin Books.

Bibliography

  • The Guinness Book of Classic British TV (1993: Guinness Publishing) cowritten with Paul Cornell and Martin Day ISBN 0-85112-543-3
  • The Avengers Programme Guide (1994: Virgin Books) cowritten with Paul Cornell and Martin Day ISBN 0-86369-754-2
  • The Doctor Who Discontinuity Guide (1995: Virgin Books) cowritten with Paul Cornell and Martin Day ISBN 0-426-20442-5
  • The New Trek Programme Guide (1995: Virgin Books) cowritten with Paul Cornell and Martin Day ISBN 0-86369-922-7
    • (Also published as Der Neue TREK Episoden-Führer (ISBN 3-8025-2400-4) in Germany by VGS Verlagsgescellschaft, Köln (1996))
  • The Guinness Book of Classic British TV [Second Edition] (1996: Guinness Publishing) cowritten with Paul Cornell and Martin Day ISBN 0-85112-628-6
  • X-Treme Possibilities - A Paranoid Rummage Through The X-Files (1997: Virgin Books) cowritten with Paul Cornell and Martin Day ISBN 0-7535-0019-1
  • Doctor Who: The Devil Goblins From Neptune (1997: BBC Books) cowritten with Martin Day ISBN 0-563-40564-3
  • The Avengers Dossier (1998: Virgin Books) cowritten with Paul Cornell & Martin Day ISBN 0-86369-754-2
  • Doctor Who: The Hollow Men (1998: BBC Books) cowritten with Martin Day ISBN 0-563-40582-1
  • X-Treme Possibilities - A Comprehensively Expanded Rummage Through Five Years of The X-Files (1998: Virgin Books) cowritten with Paul Cornell and Martin Day ISBN 0-7535-0228-3
  • Shut It! A Fan’s Guide to 70s Cops on the Box (1999: Virgin Books) cowritten with Martin Day ISBN 0-7535-0355-7.
  • Slayer: The Totally Cool Unofficial Guide to Buffy (2000: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0475-8
    • (Also published in France as Tueuse de Vampires: Le guide non officiel de Buffy by Editions Hors Collection, ISBN 2-258-05445-1 (2000))
  • Hollywood Vampire: The Unofficial Guide to Angel (Nov 2000: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0531-2
    • (Also published in France as Le Vampire D’Hollywood: Le guide non officiel de La Serie Angel by Editions Hors Collection, ISBN 2-258-05649-7 (2001))
  • Doctor Who: The King of Terror (Nov 2000: BBC Books) ISBN 0-563-53802-3
  • Slayer: The Revised and Updated Unofficial Guide to Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Mar 2001: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0553-3
  • Doctor Who: Byzantium! (Jul 2001: BBC Books) ISBN 0-563-53836-8
  • High Times: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Roswell (Oct 2001: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-630-0
    • (Also published in France as Roswell: Le Guide non officiel les 2 premières saisons by Editions Hors Collection, ISBN 2-258-05942-9 (2002))
  • Hollywood Vampire: A Revised and Updated Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Angel (Dec 2001: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7353-0601-7
  • Slayer: An Expanded and Updated Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Feb 2002: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0631-9
  • Inside Bartlet’s White House: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to The West Wing (April 2002: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0612-2.
  • Doctor Who: Ghost Ship (August 2002: Telos Publishing), ISBN Standard Hardback 1-903889-08-1. ISBN Deluxe Hardback 1-903889-09-X. ISBN Paperback 1-90-3889-32-4.
  • Beyond the Gåte: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Stargate SG-1 (October 2002: Telos Publishing). ISBN 1-903889-50-2.
  • Slayer The Next Generation: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Season Six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (January 2003: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0738-2
  • A Day in the Life: The Unofficial & Unauthorised Guide to 24 (April 2003: Telos Publishing) ISBN 1-903889-53-7
  • The Complete Clash (September 2003: Reynolds & Hearn Publishing) ISBN 1-903111-70-6
  • Hollywood Vampire: A Revised and Updated Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Angel (Jan 2004: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7353-0807-9
  • Inside Bartlet’s White House: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to The West Wing – Revised and Updated (April 2004: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0828-1.
  • Slayer: The Last Days of Sunnydale: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Final Season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (June 2004: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0844-3
  • Slayer: A totally awesome collection of Buffy trivia (August 2004: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0985-7
  • The Complete Slayer: An Unofficial; and Unauthorised Guide to Every Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (November 2004: Virgin Books) ISBN 0-7535-0931-8
  • A Vault of Horror: A Book of 80 Great (and not-so-great) British Horror Movies 1956-1974 (Telos Publishing: October 2004) ISBN 1-903889-58-8
  • The Discontinuity Guide: The Unofficial Doctor Who Companion (MonkeyBrain Publishing: October 2004) co-written with Paul Cornell and Martin Day ISBN 1-93226-509-0
  • Hollywood Vampire: The Apocalypse - An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Final Season of Angel (Virgin Books: January 2005) ISBN 0-7535-1000-6
  • Do You Want to Know a Secret?: A Fab Anthology of Beatles Facts (Virgin Books: July 2005) ISBN 0-7535-1041-3
  • Hollywood Vampire: A Totally Awesome Collection of Angel Trivia (Virgin Books: August 2005) co-written with Deborah Williams. ISBN 0-7535-1007-3
  • Triqueta: The Unauthorised and Unofficial Guide to the Hit TV Series Charmed (Telos Publishing: Feb 2006) ISBN 1-84583-002-4


Short Stories

  • In the Midst of Life We Are in Death, Et Cetera (in Drabble Who, Beccon Publications, 1993, ISBN 1-870824-21-0)
  • Chain Male (in Perfect Timing. Privately Printed, 1998)
  • Disturbance at the Heron House (in Missing Pieces, Gallifrey Publishing, 2001)
  • Skulduggery? (co-written with Suzanne M Campagna, in Lifedeath, Ambrosia Press, 2001).
  • Prisoner of Conscience. To be published in 2007.


External links




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