Page last updated at 17:58 GMT, Thursday, 17 September 2009 18:58 UK

Award winning screenwriter dies

The screenwriter Frank Deasy
Frank Deasy had been campaigning for more organ donors

The award winning screenwriter Frank Deasy, who had been campaigning for more organ donations, has died in hospital in Edinburgh.

Mr Deasy, 49, died on Thursday in Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary, where he had been due to get a liver transplant.

The screenwriter, whose screen credits include Prime Suspect, appealed at the weekend for more organ donors especially those with blood group B.

Mr Deasy is survived by his wife Marie and three young children.

Only organs from a donor with the B blood group, which is shared by just 10% of the population, can be used in transplants for people such as Mr Deasy who had the rare blood group.

He persuaded actors who had appeared in his hit dramas to join the campaign. Among those who did was Scots actor Dougray Scott, who starred in his screenplay Father and Son.

Planning work

Mr Deasy's his most obvious success in his campaign followed an appeal in his native Ireland last week. The day after the show was aired a record number of people applied for organ donor cards.

His agent, Anthony Jones, confirmed the news of his death and said it had shocked friends and colleagues. He said: "I spoke to him only yesterday afternoon.

"He was fine and already planning when he could start work again on the drama he's making for the BBC.

"It was the third time he'd been called about a new liver; the first two times turned out to be false alarms and he was delighted that this time it would happen.

"He was so proud of the impact he'd made, particularly in Ireland where the health minister had come onto the same radio show the next day and announced she was considering legislation for presumed consent.

"That meant a lot to him. I just hope that people will continue what he started."

Mr Deasy's latest project was a BBC drama called Gaza, about a secular Jewish doctor in the Middle East. Helen Mirren was due to play the central role.

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