Peter Bradshaw speaking at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival
Peter Nicholas Bradshaw
19 June 1962
|Education||Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School|
|Alma mater||University of Cambridge (BA, PhD)|
|Caroline S. Hill|
Bradshaw was educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School in Hertfordshire, and studied English at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he was president of the Cambridge Footlights. He was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984, followed by postgraduate research in the Early Modern period in which he studied with Lisa Jardine and Anne Barton. He received his PhD in 1989.
Before joining The Guardian, Bradshaw was employed by the Evening Standard as a columnist, and during the 1997 General Election, editor Max Hastings asked him to write a series of parodic diary entries purporting to be written by the Conservative MP and historian Alan Clark, which Clark thought deceptive and which were the subject of a court case resolved in January 1998, the first in newspaper history in which the subject of a satire sued its author. Bradshaw was not put into the witness box by his QC Peter Prescott, and the judge Gavin Lightman found in Clark's favour, granting an injunction, deciding that Bradshaw's articles were then being published in a form that "a substantial number of readers" would believe they were genuinely being written by Alan Clark. Bradshaw found it "the most bizarre and surreal business of my professional life. I'm very flattered that Mr Clark should go to all this trouble and expense in suing me like this."
Bradshaw has been chief film critic for The Guardian since 1999, writing a weekly review column every Friday for the paper's Film&Music section. In a 2012 Sight & Sound poll of cinema's greatest films, Bradshaw indicated his ten favourites, given alphabetically, are The Addiction (1994), Andrei Rublev (1966), Annie Hall (1977), Black Narcissus (1947), Hidden (2005), I am Cuba (1964), In the Mood for Love (2000), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Raging Bull (1980) and Singin' in the Rain (1952).
A selection of his reviews, entitled The Films That Made Me..., was brought out by Bloomsbury Publishing in September 2019.
Bradshaw has written three novels, Lucky Baby Jesus, published in 1999, Dr Sweet and his Daughter, published in 2003 and Night Of Triumph, published in 2013. He also wrote and performed a BBC Radio 4 programme entitled For One Horrible Moment, recorded 10 October 1998 and first broadcast 20 January 1999. The programme chronicled a young man's coming of age in 1970s Cambridgeshire. His bittersweet short story Reunion, first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 21 October 2016, was narrated by Tom Hollander and described as "sad and sly, and connected impermeably to the mid-Seventies and what it felt like to be young". Another short story by Bradshaw, entitled Neighbours Of Zero, first broadcast on Radio 4 on 17 November 2017, was narrated by Daniel Mays. Bradshaw's story, entitled Senior Moment, first broadcast on Radio 4 on 22 May 2020, was narrated by Michael Maloney. He co-wrote and acted in David Baddiel's sitcom Baddiel's Syndrome, first aired on Sky One.
He has been shortlisted four times at the British Press Awards in the Critic of the Year category, in 2001, 2007, 2013 and 2014, gaining "Highly Commended" on this last occasion.