Jonathan Lynn

Screenwriter, Director & Playwright
Jonathan Lynn headshot

Jonathan Lynn has directed 10 feature films including the cult classic Clue (he also wrote the screenplay), Nuns on the Run (also written by Mr Lynn), My Cousin Vinny, The Distinguished Gentleman, Sgt. Bilko, Greedy, Trial And Error, The Whole Nine Yards, The Fighting Temptations and Wild Target. His first produced screenplay was The Internecine Project (1974).

For television, Jonathan’s writing credits include dozens of episodes of various comedy series but he is best known for the phenomenally successful, multi-award-winning BBC series Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, co- written and created with Antony Jay.

Jonathan authored the bestselling books The Complete Yes, Minister and The Complete Yes, Prime Minister, which cumulatively sold more than a million copies in hardback and have been translated into numerous languages and are still in print nearly 30 years later. His novel Mayday (1991) has recently been republished by Endeavour Media in a 25th Anniversary edition with a new foreword by Mr Lynn and his latest books Comedy Rules (Faber and Faber) and Samaritans (Endeavour) both received rave reviews. About Samaritans, the Sunday Times said: “This is a book George Orwell would have approved of.”

Jonathan made his first professional appearance on Broadway in the revue Cambridge Circus, and his television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, live with 70 million viewers, both at the age of 21. Jonathan’s West End theatre debut, aged 23, was as an actor in the role of Motel the Tailor in the original London cast of Fiddler on the Roof.  His subsequent London directing credits include: The Glass Menagerie; Songbook (Best Musical, Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award); Anna Christie (RSC, Stratford and the Donmar); Joe Orton’s Loot; Pass The Butler by Eric Idle, Shaw’s Arms And The Man and The Gingerbread Man (Old Vic). At the National Theatre, he directed A Little Hotel on the Side by Georges Feydeau and Three Men on A Horse (Olivier Award, Best Comedy). As Artistic Director of the Cambridge Theatre Company, he directed 20 productions, producing 20 others, 9 of which transferred to the West End.

Most recently in London he directed two plays he wrote: Yes Prime Minister at The Gielgud and then The Apollo, and The Patriotic Traitor at The Park.

His numerous awards include the BAFTA Writers Award, Writers Guild (twice), Broadcasting Press Guild (twice), NAACP Image Award, Environmental Media Award, Ace Award –Best Comedy Series on US cable, and a Special award from the Campaign For Freedom of Information.

Lynn received an MA in Law from Cambridge University and now lives in New York, describing himself as a recovering lawyer.

More information

Jonathan Lynn is appearing at the following sessions:

Book Signing: Jonathan Lynn in the Knapp Gallery

Book Signing: Jonathan Lynn in the Knapp Gallery

Join Jonathan Lynn in the Knapp Gallery where he will be signing copies of his book Comedy Rules.

Political Comedy: Yes Minister

Political Comedy: Yes Minister

Yes Minister Creator and Co-Writer Jonathan Lynn will discuss the development and execution of the show, and share insights into comedy writing and show structure, this session will be a must for all lovers of political satire and sitcom.

Script Lab 2: Writing Comedy Features or TV with Jonathan Lynn

Script Lab 2: Writing Comedy Features or TV with Jonathan Lynn

Screenwriter and Director Jonathan Lynn (Yes Minister, My Cousin Vinny) heads up this Lab for LSF18. Work directly with him and get invaluable feedback on your writing from one of the best in the business.

Why’s That Funny?

Why’s That Funny?

Join Jonathan Lynn, creator of the original political comedy Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, director of some of Hollywood’s most enduring comedies such as Clue and My Cousin Vinny, in this masterclass of comedy.