Stuart Hood was born in Scotland in 1915 and studied at Edinburgh University. He served in the British Army from 1940-1946. His war service took him to the Middle East, to Italy (as prisoner of war, escapee and guerrilla fighter, mainly with the Monte Amiata military formation) and northwest Europe. Subsequently he was posted as Staff Liaison Officer with the American 9th Army at Rhine Crossing, and finally as Political Intelligence Officer in Germany. His highly regarded autobiographical work, Pebbles from My Skull, describes his experiences in Italy during the war.
He joined the BBC in 1946 and successively was head of the Italian and German programs; head of the World Service; and finally Controller of Programmes at BBC Television under the chairmanship of Hugh Carlton Greene. Subsequently he was a TV critic for the Spectator under the editorship of Nigel Lawson and forged a successful career as writer, scriptwriter and producer for film and television. From 1973 to 1978 he held the Professorship of Film and Television at the Royal College of Art. He wrote several novels, among them A Storm from Paradise (1985, winner of the Scottish Book Award ), The Upper Hand (1987 ), The Brutal Heart (1989), A Den of Foxes (1991) and The Book of Judith (1995). He also wrote books on television, broadcasting and mass media. On Television (1997, co-authored with Thalia Tabary-Peterssen) became a classic text in the subject.
Stuart Hood was also a distinguished translator of modern European literature by authors including Dino Buzzati, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ernest Junger. Ennio Flaiano, Beppe Fenoglio, Ricardo Bacchelli, Dacia Maraini, Enrico Palandri, Gianni Celati, Aldo Busi and Theodor Plivier.