Michael Green (born January 2, 1927, Leicester) is a British journalist and author of humorous books. He is best known for The Art of Coarse Rugby (pub. 1960), The Art of Coarse Acting and other books with similar titles.
Green began his career as a junior journalist on the Leicester Mercury. He later joined the Northampton Chronicle and Echo, where he was a stalwart on both the sporting and theatrical fronts. Later still he was a sports writer on The Observer and a contributor to the Sunday Times, among others.
The Art of Coarse Rugby and The Art of Coarse Acting were both products of his Midlands days, when he was involved with amateur rugby and dramatics. Green describes a coarse actor as "one who can remember his lines, but not the order in which they come. One who performs ... amid lethal props." and goes on: "The Coarse Actor's aim is to upstage the rest of the cast. His hope is to be dead by Act Two so that he can spend the rest of his time in the bar. His problems? Everyone else connected with the production." In similar vein, the coarse rugby player is described as differentiated from the rugger player in that he does not enjoy playing, but instead plays for any one of a number of other reasons, such as to get away from his wife, or because he dare not admit he is too old.
Other books include Even Coarser Rugby, Rugby Alphabet (pub. 1971), The Art of Coarse Golf, The Art of Coarse Sailing, The Art of Coarse Moving and The Michael Green Book of Coarse Sport. His book about journalism, Don't Print My Name Upside Down, was based largely on his Northampton days. Stanley Worker, the paper's long-serving chief sub-editor, was so proud of references to him in the book that he kept a copy in his desk drawer to peruse with quiet satisfaction during rare lulls in his working day. Green also published two autobiographical books, one called The Boy Who Shot Down an Airship, which include reminiscences about his National Service experiences. Tonight Josephine is a book of very amusing imaginary letters written by historical figures.
He also created and wrote the character of Squire Haggard for a newspaper column written by Peter Simple. He has created at least three Coarse Acting Shows, which have been performed on the Edinburgh Fringe; these are essentially a series of sketches about bad acting.
Green is famed for his zany and slightly eccentric behaviour. He is fondly remembered for starting the presses at the Leicester Mercury late one Saturday night so that he could run off his own personal copy of the Mercury's sports edition. Green was left somewhat bemused when he was unable to stop the machinery, causing general mayhem all round. This incident is related in at least one of his books. Members of the Masque Theatre in Northampton were able to recall Green's antics in minute detail many years (decades?) after his departure, and the Northampton Chronicle office was awash with Green stories, all on the theme of good intentions leading to all-round chaos.