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Eric Clare Midwinter OBE, (born February 1932) is an English author, broadcaster and academic. He is a consumer advocate, a social policy analyst, a historian of the sport of cricket and an expert on British comedy.
Eric Midwinter was born in Sale, Lancashire, in 1932, and was educated at a local grammar school and St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where he read history. Between 1968 and 1971 he led the team for action research in the Liverpool Education Priority Area. Between 1972 and 1975, as Principal of the Liverpool Teachers' Centre, he established an organisational structure capable of delivering continuing professional development to all teachers in Liverpool. He was Chairman of the London Regional Passengers Committee, the government-appointed watchdog for public transport, from 1984 to 1996. He was Director of the Centre for Policy on Ageing from 1980 to 1991, when the Centre was developing its role as a policy institute, and is now its Chairman. He was Visiting Professor of Education at the University of Exeter from 1992 to 2001.
A social historian and social policy analyst, he is a co-founder of the University of the Third Age and has been consultant to the Millennium Debate of the Age project and to the International Longevity Centre UK. He has been Chairman of the Health and Social Welfare Board of the Open University, which awarded to him an Honorary Doctorate, and he was a member of the Carnegie Inquiry into the Third Age Committee. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee on Telecommunications for Disabled and Elderly People and, for five years, a member of the Prince of Wales Advisory Group on Disability. He completed a European Commission study, under the auspices of Age Concern England, into the feasibility of a Senior Euro-pass. Until 2008, he was Chairman of the Community Education Development Centre, Coventry.
A cricket historian, he was for seven years President of the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, and is a biographer of W.G. Grace. Midwinter won The Cricket Society/MCC Book of the Year award in 2005 for Red Shirts and Roses, and the Wisden Book of the Year award in 2011 for The Cricketer's Progress: Meadowland to Mumbai. He was for several years editor of the MCC Annual, and he has prepared many notices of the lives of cricketers and comedians for the old and new Dictionary of National Biography. He is also an expert on British comedy, through, for instance, his books Make 'em Laugh: Famous Comedians and their Worlds and The People's Jesters; British Comedians in the 20th Century.
The 2015 book Variety is the Spice of Life: The Worlds of Eric Midwinter is an appreciation of his life and work.