Graham Linehan, the highly-regarded writer behind a string of comedy greats including Black Books, The IT Crowd and Father Ted, is penning his first ever drama.
Linehan, who now runs his own production company called Delightful Industries, told RadioTimes.com he is in the middle of writing the new thriller.
“It’s a serious thing and it’s the first drama I have written,” he said.
“I actually started my life as a film critic and my interest in comedy came about almost by accident.”
Linehan added that while he was not yet sure if he “has the chops to do a drama” he is confident at least that he is working on something he would want to watch. “That has always been my guiding principle – is it something I would like to see on TV?”
Linehan is also working on a science-fiction sitcom with writer and actor Adam Buxton and is developing a naturalistic comedy with comedian Fergus Craig.
The latter project is called Actors’ School, a single narrative comedy set in a drama school, with Craig currently slated to play three of the roles on the project which has already been shown in short snippets on YouTube (see below).
Linehan’s current project is The Walshes, a family sitcom which he co-wrote with the Irish comedy troupe Diet of Worms and is due to air on BBC4 at the end of March.
It follows the tight-knit family from the West Dublin suburb of Strollinstown. Tony (Niall Gaffney) and Carmel (Philippa Dunne) are parents to Ciara (Amy Stephenson) and Rory (Rory Connolly), who have been forced home because of the state of the Irish economy.
Already, Linehan and the Diet of Worms have been sketching out ideas for a second series.
“What’s great is the characters are so clear to me,” said Linehan. “Hopefully we will get a recommission.”
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.