Hardback: 288pp

Published: Eye Books (October 2023)

ISBN: 9781785633065

Tough Crowd

Graham Linehan


How I Made and Lost a Career in Comedy

‘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.






‘One of the very best television 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

‘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

Tough Crowd 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

‘Hilarious, raw and touching, this memoir from one of the world’s best comedy writers is a must-read. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to know the backstory behind Linehan’s greatest creation, the priests of Craggy Island – 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




Graham Linehan

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.

Cartoon: Nina Paley

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