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.”
At the press conference for the launch, Linehan revealed he has not even seen the smash hit BBC1 comedy Mrs Brown’s Boys, although he’s not a fan of the work of its creator Brendan O’Carroll.