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Ted Lewis – ‘Get Carter’ – Group

Edward Alfred (Ted) Lewis

Ted Lewis, sometimes called “Ed” or “Lew” was born in the Manchester suburb of Stretford in 1940. From 1946 he was brought up in Barton upon Humber, attending Barton County Primary School, Castledyke and later Barton Grammar School where writer and poet, Henry Treece, was Head of English. From an early age Ed developed a natural talent for sketching. His focussed attendance at local cinemas yielded a vast knowledge of films, particularly those featuring tough adventures. Lee Marvin was his favourite, especially in Shack Out on 101.

Treece encouraged and mentored Lewis, later being instrumental in his decision to enter Hull College of Arts and Crafts which he did in 1956 aged 16, subsequently obtaining his diploma in 1960. During his time in Hull he played piano with the Unity Jazz Band, exhibiting considerable talent. In 1961 Lewis left the area to concentrate on a career in graphic art including advertising and the illustration of children’s books.

Lewis’s talents enabled him to move into film graphics, notably the 1966 Lone Ranger series and The Beatles Yellow Submarine.

Film Graphics, TV Scripts for Z Cars

In 1961 Lewis left the area to concentrate on a career in graphic art including advertising and the illustration of children’s books.

Lewis’s talents enabled him to move into film graphics, notably the 1966 Lone Ranger series and The Beatles Yellow Submarine.

Lone Ranger series (1966)
Dying for a Smoke (1967) on You Tube
Beatles, Yellow Submarine
(as animation clean up supervisor) (1968)
Prisoners (Z Cars 1976)
Juvenile (Z Cars 1977)
Driver (Z Cars 1978)

As a novelist, Ted Lewis broke new ground being amongst the first to publish “hard-boiled” or “noir” novels in the UK of which Raymond Chandler had been a master in the USA. In this way, Lewis had a towering influence on English literature with a realistic, acerbic, pithy, unrelenting style pulling no punches.


All the Way Home and all the Night Through was his first novel published in 1965 but his second, the seminal 1970 Jack’s Return Home, was his best known, published following sale of its film rights to MGM which produced Get Carter starring Michael Caine. He went on to write seven further novels.

All the Way Home and All the Night Through (1965)
Jack’s Return Home (1970) later Carter, finally as Get Carter*
Plender (1971)
Billy Rags (1973)
Jack Carter’s Law (1974)*
The Rabbit (1975)
Boldt (1976)
Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon (1977)*
GBH (1980)*
*In currently published editions

Ted’s early adult life was in London but after Get Carter he moved to Framlingham in Suffolk. Whilst in the heyday of his writing, his marriage to Jo in 1966 sadly foundered in 1974 and he returned to his roots in Barton upon Humber. There he continued to write, sketch and play piano for fun. He socialised with a glass in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Although often unwell from an early age, both drink and smoking contributed to the premature death at the age of 42 of this highly talented, artistic and captivating man.

The Wall Street Journal


‘Its grim up North’

Tom Nolan reviews ‘Get Carter,’ ‘Jack Carter’s Law,’ ‘Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon’ and ‘GBH’ by Ted Lewis.”

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Ted Lewis : Noir maverick

“..a fascinating, if ultimately tragic, guy: a multi-talented man gifted with artistic genius, and a good-looking bloke with the ability to be a great charmer; but also someone with a dark side….”

A Superb account of the career & lifestyle of the enigmatic creative. Researched & written by the North Carolina writer – Brian Greene.

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Electric Lullaby

‘Ted Lewis & Get Carter’

Lewis didn’t live long enough to witness his enduring influence as a writer of what can loosely be termed Brit-noir.

Author Nick Triplow writes about Ted Lewis

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Lewis on the set of Get Carter in 1970
Lewis on the set of Get Carter in 1970

“I don’t read many books twice but I’ve been back to Get Carter a few times. Unfortunately (or not) the copy I have is an old film tie in copy with boobs on the back cover. Awkward on the train.”

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The Los Angeles Times


‘Get Carter’ and the birth of British noir

“And this is British noir, full of references, vernacular, social customs; there is no attempt to soften or sugarcoat. Both Carter and his enemies are brutal, capable of casual violence, killing without second notice, betraying themselves and each other in pursuit of their goals.”

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