Nigel Marlin Balchin è nato il 3 dicembre del 1908 a Potterne una cittadina circa 35 km ad est di Bath ed è stato un noto scrittore inglese.
Ha studiato alla Dauntsey's School and Peterhouse di Cambridge prima di impiegarsi all'Istituto di Nazionale di Psicologia dal 1930 al 1935 per poi diventare consulente della JS Rowntree & Sons.
Durante questo periodo ha scritto per il Punch Magazine prima di partecipare da civile al secondo conflitto mondiale come consulente scientifico del Ministero dell'Alimentazione.
Sposato due volte, ha avuto tre figli da Elisabeth Evelyn Walshe, da cui divorziò nel 1951, e due da Yovanka Zorana Tomich.
Nel 1956 si trasferì ad Hollywood dove lavorò in campo cinematografico prima di rientrare a Londra nel 1962.
Nigel si dedicò al cricket, agli scacchi, al biliardo, al tennis ed al golf, ma il suo divertimento preferito fu probabilmente il rubber bridge.
Morì il 17 marzo del 1970 ad Hampstead (Londra).
He was born Nigel Marlin Balchin in Potterne December 3, 1908, to William and Ada Balchin.
He was educated at Dauntsey's School and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he took a scholarship and became a Prizeman in Natural Sciences. He then worked for the National Institute of Industrial Psychology between 1930 and 1935, becoming a consultant to JS Rowntree & Sons, where he was intimately involved in the design and marketing of Black Magic chocolates and, he claimed, responsible for the success of the Aero and Kit Kat brands.
He wrote for Punch magazine, published as Mark Spade, and also wrote novels under his own name. During World War II he was a civil servant at the Ministry of Food, and then a successful scientific adviser, rising to the rank of Brigadier.
In 1956, he moved abroad to write screenplays in Hollywood and elsewhere, but was increasingly troubled by alcoholism, and returned to England in 1962.
His novels enjoyed great popular success for a time. Darkness Falls From the Air is set during the London Blitz and was written while the bombing was still in progress. The Small Back Room became a Powell and Pressburger film. A Way Through the Wood was adapted as a stage play Waiting for Gillian, and as the 2005 film Separate Lies.
As a screenwriter he worked on an early draft of Cleopatra but is principally
remembered for The Man Who Never Was, for which he won the 1956 BAFTA Award for
Best British Screenplay, and Mandy, the story of a deaf child. He also wrote the
screenplay for The Singer Not the Song.
Balchin was married twice, firstly in 1933 div 1951 to Elisabeth Evelyn Walshe (1910–1991, daughter of the novelist Douglas Walshe) whom he had met at Cambridge where she was reading English at Newnham with children: Prudence Ann Balchin, Penelope Jane Balchin and Freja Mary Balchin.
His first marriage broke up following a partner-swapping arrangement between the Balchins, the artist Michael Ayrton and the latter's partner Joan. Elisabeth divorced Balchin to marry Ayrton in 1952.
He married secondly in 1953 Yovanka Zorana Tomich, with children: Charles Zoran Marlin Balchin and Cassandra Marlin Balchin.
Nigel is dedicated to cricket, chess, billiards, tennis and golf, but his favorite pastime was probably the rubber bridge.
He died in 1970 at a nursing home in Hampstead, London, and is buried in Hampstead Cemetery.