Vernon Coleman (born 18 May 1946) is a former general practitioner, and the author of over 100 books, including non-fiction works about human health, politics, cricket, and animal issues, and a range of novels. He is a militant vegetarian and antivivisectionist.
One of his novels, Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War, has been turned into a movie with the same name.
According to The Independent, Coleman has "been censured by the Press Complaints Commission and banned by the advertising watchdog" and "irritates just about everyone".
Coleman complains that his campaigning has made him many enemies and he has been regularly attacked by large corporations and their spokesmen. According to his website (www.vernoncoleman.com) the book which inspired both complaints (‘Food for Thought’) listed 26 scientific papers proving that meat causes cancer. When the meat industry complained about an article based on the book, and an advertisement for it, both the PCC and the advertising watchdog refused to look at the scientific papers but upheld the complaints (www.vernoncoleman.com)
According to The Independent ‘Vernon Coleman is many things and he has written books about most of them.’ `He's frank, fearless and prolific. He's outrageous, outspoken and iconoclastic. A Vernon Coleman book will change your life...and may even save your life.' (Independent 14.5.2008)
‘…our doctor is completely independent, and can afford to tick two fingers up not only at medicine and mainstream publishing but also at Bush, Blair, Lord Hutton, those who want to surrender British sovereignty to a European superstate, the pharmaceutical industry, animal experiments, Dr Atkins, Uncle Tom Cobley and everyone who eats meat.’ (‘You have been warned, Mr Blair’, Spectator 6.3.2004 and 20.3.2004)
In 1983 Coleman prepared the text for a series of home doctor programmes for computers. (The Times 29.3.1983, British Medical Journal 8.9.84, British Medical Journal 27.10.84)
Son of an electrical engineer, he grew up an only child, in Walsall, West Midlands, England, where he attended Queen Mary's Grammar School.
As a child he was unsure what he wanted to do, but then, according to The Independent in 2008, he "met a friend of the family when I was about 12 who said, if you're a lawyer you spend your life making people unhappy, and if you're a doctor you spend your life trying to make people happy."
Before going to medical school he worked for a year as a volunteer in Kirkby, Liverpool, getting children to paint old people's houses and doing their shopping. According to Coleman, "The unions threatened to strike, as they were taking away work, but... work that they weren't doing anyway...."
Coleman qualified as a doctor in 1970 and has worked both in hospitals and as a GP. He is still registered and licensed to practise as a GP principal. He has founded and organised many campaigns concerning iatrogenesis, drug addictions and the abuse of animals and has given evidence to committees at the House of Commons and the House of Lords on vivisection. Dr Coleman's campaigns have often proved successful.
For example, after a 15-year campaign (which started in 1973), he eventually persuaded the British government to introduce stricter controls governing the prescribing of benzodiazepine tranquillisers. 'Dr Vernon Coleman's articles, to which I refer with approval, raised concern about these important matters,' said Edwina Currie, Parliamentary Secretary for health in the House of Commons in 1988.
Coleman has been a strong critic of the European Union, and applauds the British withdrawal. He is also a supporter of English nationalism.
His first books included The Medicine Men (1975), and Paper Doctors (1976). Bodypower came in 1983, and has been reprinted a number of times. Alice's Diary (1989) and Alice's Adventures (1992) concern Alice (1983–1992) and her half sister Thomasina (1983–2000), real cats who shared their lives with Vernon Coleman. How to Stop Your Doctor Killing You came out in 1996, and then again in 2003. After publishers refused to publish Alice's Diary and certain other of his books, he decided to begin self-publishing.
However he has also written under the pen name Edward Vernon. In the late 70s he wrote 3 books of an autobiographical nature about his career as a GP, they were entitled Practice makes Perfect, Practice What you Preach and Getting into Practice. (The books were an amended version of his actual cases. The reason behind this and the pen name was due to having to keep the actual identities secret. This is a practice commonly carried out in any medical biography. It is also a common feature in veterinary books as well. James Herriot was also used as a pen name)
Coleman (who uses a number of other pen names) says that the books are novels and not autobiographical and that the pen name was used on the advice of his literary agent for purely practical reasons (www.vernoncoleman.com)
He has worked as a columnist for numerous national newspapers including The Sun, The Daily Star, The Sunday Express and The Sunday People and has written columns for over 50 regional newspapers. His columns and articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world. He has contributed articles to hundreds of other publications including The Sunday Times, Observer, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Express, The Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Mirror, The Sunday Mirror, Punch, Woman, Woman's Own, The Lady, The Spectator and the British Medical Journal. He was the founding editor of the British Clinical Journal.
He has presented numerous programmes on television and radio and was the original breakfast television doctor. He was television's first agony uncle (on The Afternoon Show). He has presented three TV series based on his best-selling book Bodypower.
Vernon Coleman is married to Donna Antoinette Coleman (born 1972), whom he calls "the Welsh Princess". She is co-author with him of How To Conquer Health Problems Between Ages 50 and 120 (2003), and Health Secrets Doctors Share With Their Families (2005).The Medicine Men (1975)
Paper Doctors (1976)
Stress Control (1978)
The Good Medicine Guide (1982)
Thomas Winsden's Cricketing Almanac (1983)
Life Without Tranquillisers (1985)
Know Yourself (1988)
Alice's Diary (1989)
Village Cricket Tour (1990)
Eat Green Lose Weight (1990)
Why Animal Experiments Must Stop (1991)
Bilbury Chronicles (1992)
Mrs Caldicot's Cabbage War (1993)
Betrayal of Trust (1994)
Food for Thought (1994, 2000)
The Man Who Inherited a Golf Course (1995)
How to Stop Your Doctor Killing You (1996, new edn 2003)
Paris in My Springtime (2002)
How To Conquer Health Problems Between Ages 50 and 120 (2003, with Donna Antoinette Coleman)
Health Secrets Doctors Share With Their Families (2005, with Donna Antoinette Coleman)
Too Many Clubs and Not Enough Balls (2005)
Animal Experiments Simple Truths (2006)
How to Protect and Preserve Your Freedom, Identity and Privacy (2006)
Gordon is a Moron: the Definitive and Objective Analysis of Gordon Brown's Decade as Chancellor of the Exchequer (2007)
Coleman's Laws (2007)
Oil Apocalypse (2007)
Mr Henry Mulligan (2007)
The OFPIS File (2008)
Cat Tales (2008)
What Happens Next? (2009)
Bloodless Revolution (2009)
101 Things I Have Learned (2010)
100 Greatest Englishmen and Englishwomen (#2010)
Anyone Who Tells You Vaccines Are Safe And Effective Is Lying. Here's The Proof. (2011)
Diary of a Disgruntled Man (2011)
Do Doctors And Nurses Kill More People Than Cancer? (2011)
The Truth Kills 2014 Is this what really happened 2014 Just another bloody year 2014 Bugger off and leave me alone 2015 Doctor in Paris 2015 Balancing the Books 2015 Stories with a Twist 2015 One thing after Another 2015 Psychiatry 2015 Are you living with a psychopath 2015 Cheese rolling 2015 Bilbury Tonic 2016 Return of the Disgruntled man 2016 Millions of Alzheimer Patients 2016 Bilbury Relish 2016 Life on the Edge 2017 Bilbury Mixture 2017