Educated at City of London School and Cambridge, Apted trained with Granada TV and went on to work on World of Action and Coronation Street.
He directed many films/plays for British TV before he broke into features in 1973. Yet he has never given up on television or documentaries. He has done commercials and he has produced several projects for cable in America.
Apted is not just an Englishman who has made an unusual commitment to American regionalism. In 1998 he put together the latest installment in his survey of a group of English lives and the latest James Bond movie with equal fairness, never letting one part of his mind judge the other.
That is barely the beginning. In successive years, Apted did what he could to handle that odd English mystery about the brief disappearance of Agatha Christie, and directed Coal Miners Daughter without being glaringly un-American.
Apted’s most lasting work is the series of English documentaries, begun when he was an assistant on the program World In Action and continued with 21, 28, 35, and 42 Up.
By the end of the nineties, he was was widening his documentary interests, keeping faith with his original English kids, being prepared to make a Walter Mosle novel for television, and then getting the prize of a Bond film - The World Is Not Enough.