James [Evershed] Agate was born in 1877 and died in 1947. If the story is true, he was taken on by the Manchester Guardian as a drama critic because he wrote a letter to them about a play he had seen, and was not long after taken on to the team of critics. He was not a timid critic, and that secured his reputation. After World War One, he worked with Gerald Barry at The Saturday Review, going on to be the The Sunday Times drama critic in 1923, and the BBC’s drama critic from 1925 to 1932 (he also wrote on film for the Daily Express). His biography was written by another WR judge, Ivor Brown.