The jazz-loving, heroically cigarette-smoking, Hull City-supporting Plater was a populist all-rounder with more than 300 assorted credits in radio, television, theatre and films (his screenplay
for DH Lawrence's The Virgin and the Gypsy, directed by Christopher Miles in 1970, is probably his best) as well as journalism, six novels, broadcasting and teaching. He was always busy, and
Plater was always suspicious of theories about writing, preferring to glean his ideas and material from everyday conversation in pubs and clubs, where he was the most convivial company imaginable.
"I'm only human and therefore not without faults," he said, "but at least I don't stink up the place with arcs and paradigms. My approach to dramatic structure is to play Duke Ellington's 1940 version
of Harlem Air Shaft, which contains all you need to know about dramatic structure, if you have ears to listen."