Born in Salford, Manchester, in 1943, Mike Leigh has developed a unique method of creating films through controlled improvisation. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Camberwell and Central Art Schools in London and at the London Film School, of which he was Chairman until 2018. After his debut Bleak Moments (1971) he made a succession of admired TV plays, including Abigail's Party and Nuts in May. He then returned to feature films: High Hopes (1988), Life is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993). Secrets and Lies won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1996. Topsy-Turvy (1999) won two Oscars. All or Nothing followed in 2002. Since then he has made the Oscar-nominated Vera Drake (2004), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010), Mr Turner (2014) and Peterloo (2018).