Barry Turner has worked in teaching, television, journalism and publishing and as a full-time writer. He was deputy editor of New Education and then education correspondent for the Observer, before moving on to radio and television. He wrote and presented documentary series for Thames, Yorkshire and Granada Television on a variety of arts subjects, and made regular appearances on BBC current affairs programmes. He co-authored Adventures in Education (1969) and wrote a history of girls’ education entitled Equality for Some (1974), as well as A Place in the Country (1972), a bestseller about life in the great country houses which inspired the popular Thames Television series.
He books include biographies of the actors John Le Mesurier, Richard Burton and Denholm Elliott, and political and economic studies. He was Editor of The Writer's Handbook from its first edition in 1987 until the final 2011 edition and of the annual The Statesman's Yearbook (Palgrave Macmillan) from 1997 to 2015. He is the author of …And the Policeman Smiled (Bloomsbury 1990), the story of the kindertransport, When Daddy Came Home (with Tony Rennell, Hutchinson 1995 and Arrow 2014), a study of how family life changed after 1945, One Small Suitcase (Puffin 2003), an adaptation of ...And the Policeman Smiled for younger readers, Countdown to Victory (Hodder 2004), the story of the final European campaigns of World War II, Suez 1956: The Forgotten War (Hodder 2006), a reassessment of the events surrounding the Suez crisis, Outpost of Occupation (Aurum 2011) a history of the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands in WWII, Beacon for Change: How the 1951 Festival of Britain Shaped the Modern Age (Aurum 2011), The Victorian Parson (Amberley 2015) and Karl Doenitz and the Last Days of the Third Reich (Icon Books 2015). He is a founder of the National Academy of Writing.