Drabble, Phil 1914–2007

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Drabble, Phil 1914–2007


See index for CA sketch: Born May 14, 1914, in Bloxwich, England; died July 29, 2007. Television personality, naturalist, and author. Drabble is remembered as the host of the popular, long-running television program One Man and His Dog, but the series was only one facet of a long and varied life. Drabble spent his childhood roaming the British countryside in the company of his father. When his schooling was complete, he became a factory worker and remained one until he was nearly fifty years old. About halfway through this career, however, he began to write about the countryside of his youth and his fondness for pets, especially dogs. Finally Drabble resigned from factory work and returned to the country. He invested his entire savings into a country lodge and farm in Staffordshire, where he established a wildlife sanctuary and Christmas tree farm. He continued to support himself through his writing, which by this time had expanded into the genres of radio and television. It was about 1975 when the British Broadcasting Corporation asked him to present a program pitting teams of shepherds and their sheepdogs against one another in a televised competition. Drabble himself was quite certain that such an apparently boring enterprise would end in failure, but somehow it became a Saturday afternoon success, and Drabble stayed with the program for nearly twenty years. His background as a rustic landowner, pet lover, and informed commentator added authenticity to the pastoral setting and attracted viewers from city, suburb, and countryside alike. In 1993 Drabble retired to his sanctuary near Goat Lodge, where he spent the rest of his life in the company of his beloved wildlife. Over a period of fifty years, Drabble wrote more than twenty books, including The Penguin Book of Pets (1964), Badgers at My Window (1969), Country Seasons (1976), It's a Dog's Life (1983), and My Wilderness in Bloom (1986).



Drabble, Phil, A Voice in the Wilderness, Pelham Books (London, England), 1991.


Times (London, England), August 1, 2007, p. 55.