Derek Parker was born in 1932 and made his first radio broadcast in 1947. After a brief career in newspaper journalism he became a prolific contributor to BBC radio, compiling and introducing programmes on the arts. The first of over 30 books, many of biography, was published in 1954; he later joined his wife, the astrologer Julia Parker, in publishing many more books on a great variety of subjects. Between 1966 and 1970 he edited Poetry Review, and between 1985 and 2002 The Author. Between 2002 and 2021 he and his wife lived in Sydney, before returning to the UK, where they live in Bognor Regis.