Graham Linehan appeared at a previous festival. View this year's speakers here.

Graham Linehan

Screenwriter & Director
Graham Linehan headshot

Graham Linehan is an Irish comedy writer and director, as well as actor and comedian, and creator of highly popular series’ Father Ted, The IT Crowd and Black Books.

After an early career as a journalist for the Irish music magazine ‘Hot Press’, Graham began collaborating with writer Arthur Mathews on many high profile comedy sketch shows including Alas Smith and Jones, Harry Enfield and Chums, and the ‘Ted’ and ‘Ralph’ characters in The Fast Show.

It was Linehan and Matthews’ creation of Father Ted in 1995 that brought their greatest success of their early years. The programme won countless awards, including two BAFTAs for best comedy, and is today regarded as one of the greatest British sitcoms ever produced.

Linehan and Matthews then wrote the first series of the sketch show Big Train, which Graham also directed.

Linehan has since written for other shows, including Brass Eye. 2000 saw his next success with his co-creation of Black Books with Dylan Moran. Graham also co-directed many episodes with Nick Wood.

In 2003 Graham directed the pilot episode of Little Britain.

Linehan went on to create, write and direct the 2006 Channel 4 sitcom The IT Crowd, starring Chris O’Dowd and Richard Ayoade, which went on to win multiple awards including the BAFTA TV Award for ‘Best Situation Comedy’ in 2009, ‘Best TV Sitcom’ at the British Comedy Awards in 2009, and ‘Best Script for Television’ at the Irish Film and Television Awards.

Over the last ten years Graham has also directed numerous ad campaigns with Sneezing Tree Films, including campaigns for ITV Sports Channel, which were awarded the Silver Arrow at the 2003 BTAA Awards, and four commercials from the award winning QTV series starring Martin Freeman. He directed the IKEA ‘Van de Poop’ campaign and in 2011 he did the Direct Line campaign starring Chris Addison, Alexander Armstrong and Amelia Bulmore.

In November 2011, Graham’s stage adaptation of the Ealing Studio classic The Ladykillers debuted at the Liverpool Playhouse before moving to The Gielgud Theatre in London starring Peter Capaldi and Ben Miller, where it received rave reviews and was a sell out show.  It then toured and is due back in the West End this summer.

Most recently Graham has been co-writing and directing his new sitcom Count Arthur Strong for BBC2. Co-written with its star Steve Delaney, and co-starring Rory Kinnear, the show will bring the much-loved Radio 4 character to our television screens this year.

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