Gwyneth Hughes was born in London, the daughter of a policeman from North Wales. She studied Russian at Sussex University, before moving north to train as a newspaper reporter on the Sheffield Morning Telegraph. Gwyn worked on the Yorkshire Television regional news programme, Calendar, and became a Bafta-nominated documentary director specializing in history and true crime. She began her move into drama on episodes of The Bill and Silent Witness. More recent productions include the classic adaptation The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and the original ghost story Remember Me, starring Michael Palin. Her original thriller Five Days, and her Tippi Hedren biopic The Girl, were both nominated for the Baftas and the Golden Globes.

Currently Gwyn is writing about honour killing in London, sex slavery in Belfast, and the female outlaws of the Wild West. She is finishing a new adaptation of Vanity Fair for ITV and Amazon, to be broadcast in autumn 2018, and beginning an Agatha Christie murder mystery, for Easter next year on BBC1. She is married to Chris Brown DL, the chair of Huddersfield University. They live near Keighley, West Yorkshire.