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Tough Crowd : How I Made and Lost a Career in Comedy - Graham Linehan

Tough Crowd

How I Made and Lost a Career in Comedy

By: Graham Linehan

Hardcover | 12 October 2023

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‘A must-read. Funny and utterly compelling’ Jonathan Ross

Having cut his teeth in music journalism, Graham Linehan became the finest sitcom writer of his generation. He captured the comedy zeitgeist not just as the co-creator of Father Ted but also with The IT Crowd and Black Books, winning five Baftas and a lifetime achievement award.

Then his life took an unexpected turn. When he championed an unfashionable cause, TV commissioners no longer returned his emails, showbiz pals lost his number and his marriage collapsed.

In an emotionally charged memoir that is by turns hilarious and harrowing, he lets us into the secrets of the writing room and colourfully describes the high-octane atmosphere of a sitcom set. But he also berates an industry where there was no one to stand by his side when he needed help.

Bruised but not beaten, he explains why he chose the hill of women and girls’ rights to die on – and why, despite the hardship of cancellation, he’s not coming down from it any time soon.

About the Author

Graham Linehan was born in Dublin. He is the mastermind behind beloved sitcoms Father Ted, The IT Crowd, Black Books and Motherland. His Substack is dedicated to monitoring the extremes of gender identity ideology and he also co-hosts the highly successful weekly YouTube show The Mess We're In, which has garnered a remarkable 1.5 million views in just three years.
Industry Reviews
'One of the best TV comedy writers of all time delivers a book which is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered: a) how to create a hit sit-com and b) how it feels to lose everything. It's funny, complicated and utterly compelling' Jonathan Ross 'One of the most compelling and unflinchingly honest memoirs I've read in many years. It's also the funniest' Andrew Doyle 'Graham Linehan has long been one of my favourite writers - and this book shows that his brilliance in prose is the equal to his brilliance as a screenwriter. It unfolds with the urgency of a Sam Fuller film: that of a man who has been through something that few have experienced but has managed to return, undaunted, to tell us the tale' Richard Ayoade 'Hilarious, raw and touching. A must-read for anyone who wants to know the backstory behind Father Ted - and why he gave up the life of a luvvie to fight the threats posed by trans ideology to women's rights and child safeguarding' Helen Joyce 'This book is great company, and reminds us that Graham is first and foremost a writer, and a very funny one indeed. It is a not inconsiderable relief, in fact, to see that he has not lost the gift' Simon Evans 'A brilliant account of the evolution of a comedy writer, but also an extraordinary and chilling portrayal of cancel culture. I found it unputdownable' Lissa Evans A funny but dark memoir that goes from Linehan's childhood in Dublin (nerdy, bullied) to his days as a music journalist, to writing Father Ted and The IT Crowd, to getting involved in the trans argument' The Herald 'A beautifully written memoir that is full of good humour and grace, and the best account yet of cancellation. Linehan's is a story that calls out to be heard. To recommend it is to take a small stand' Entertainment Focus 'Because so much of the discussion around Tough Crowd will almost certainly be focused on his politics, I want to start by saying that this is a great book, full stop. In fact, it is one of the most entertaining new books I've read in a long time, in any genre' Spiked 'Simultaneously eloquent and chatty, Linehan never strays far from his need to entertain. The saddest thing about this memoir is that the very people who should read it, to hear the facts, probably won't' Irish Independent 'The good news is that Graham Linehan is still funny. Tough Crowd contains a lot of fire and brimstone, but it is very entertaining' The Critic 'Linehan's bracing and, at times, riveting memoir...charts the story of his apparent cancellation, but it also takes a deep dive into his formative years as a writer. The Father Ted chapters are stuffed with great detail and gossip' Irish Independent 'Seriously funny. Like Father Ted, Linehan will never stop scheming to escape his exile, and we laugh because it hurts' The Distance 'Sure to be the most controversial British TV memoir of the decade' British

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