David Cook is a British author, screenwriter and actor. He is best known for the screen adaptation of his 1978 novel Walter, and was the first presenter of the UK TV programme Rainbow.
He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, from 1959 to 1961. His first role was in the 1962 film adaptation of A Kind of Loving. Thereafter, he worked on both stage and television. He began to write novels and also for television in the early 1970s.
He presented the first and second series of Rainbow, with the first episode airing in October 1972. He left the show to concentrate on his writing before the third series in 1973, and was replaced as presenter by Geoffrey Hayes.
Cook went on to write Walter, a novel about a young man with learning disabilities. It won the Hawthornden Prize in 1978, and was later made into a film of the same name, starring Ian McKellen and directed by Stephen Frears. It was broadcast on Channel Four's opening night. Cook's follow up novel, Winter Doves, was also filmed with McKellen, and a 2009 radio play, Walter Now, saw Walter become a pensioner. It also focused on reproductive rights for people with learning disabilities.