Michael Hirst was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, England in 1952. He attended Bradford Grammar School, The London School of Economics, Nottingham University and Trinity College, Oxford. He has been a professional writer since 1980.
Film scripts include: Fools of Fortune, starring Julie Christie, produced by Working Title, 1990.; The Ballad of the Sad Café, starring Vanessa Redgrave and produced by Merchant-Ivory, 1992; Meeting Venus, directed by Istvan Szabo, starring Glen Close, 1993; Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchette, produced by Working Title, 1996. Television series include: The Tudors, for Showtime, 4 Seasons, 37 episodes, 2006-2009; Vikings, for MGM and History, 6 Seasons, 89 episodes, 2012-2021.
Michael Hirst lives near Oxford. He and his wife, Deb, a painter, have 9 children between them.