Diane Whitley is a professional writer with over 25 years experience. She originally trained as an actor at Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre following in the footsteps of the likes of Julie Walters, David Threlfall and Richard Griffiths. After encouragement by her husband, Dave Simpson, she moved into writing and producing. Her new book My Nana Is An Alien was released 30 October 2007.
Whitley was born in Wombwell, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire. Her father was a tool fitter and her mother a housewife. At the age of 18 she applied to various drama schools and was accepted by Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre. She embarked on a three-year training course at the School. Her first professional engagement was at the Coliseum Theatre in Oldham. She then went on to work extensively at some of the country's leading theatres as well as in film, television and radio.
After the birth of her daughter Becky in 1986, the lure of the repertory season started to lose some of its appeal, so she moved into writing, encouraged by her husband, the playwright Dave Simpson. She sold a couple of radio plays, Castlehill and Flights of Fancy, and then was accepted as a writer on the Children's TV series Grange Hill. Her stage play version of Castlehill was produced at Contact Theatre where she was resident writer in 1990. She also wrote on Home Farm Twins and co-wrote, with director Paul Hills, the award winning feature film Boston Kickout.
From 1995 - 1998 she successfully combined a writing career with running her own production company, Bite-Back Productions, producing a short film Boom Boom Clap, as well as numerous plays and documentaries for BBC Radio 4.
Between 1998 and 2004, she moved into television and worked for Granada Kids as a series producer and writer. She produced two series of Children's Ward, created and produced a new comedy drama series, Big Meg, Little Meg, wrote on the popular Worst Witch series and produced and wrote on two major children's series, 24Seven and the award winning 'Girls in love"
Most recently, Whitley's stage-play, Vegetable, was produced at the 24/7 festival in Manchester, winning Best of the Festival and going on to be nominated for a Manchester Evening News theatre award. Her children's book, My Nana is an Alien was released and published 30 October 2007 and she is currently in the middle of shooting a pilot with Kindle Entertainment for the Nickelodeon channel. She also runs a writing course in Turkey with her husband. She also wrote the script for the television show on Nickelodeon known as House of Anubis.