Graham Linehan is one of the most renowned Irish comedians. In addition to performing stand-up, Linehan has written and co-written a number of successful shows, among them; The IT Crowd, Father Ted, and Black Books. For his contributions to the British media, Linehan has won at least four BAFTA Awards. He continues to pen scripts for TV shows, though occasionally. Get to know more about this ace comedian and writer in these 5 interesting facts.
Facts About Graham Linehan
1. Graham Linehan suffered the loss of a family member
Graham Linehan has been happily married to his wife, writer Helen Serafinowicz (the sister of English actor and comedian Peter Serafinowicz) for years. The couple is blessed with two children but the number could have been three if his wife Helen did not lose a child in 2004. It was technically an abortion, one that was necessary for her health’s sake.
The couple was already living in England in 2004 when Helen’s doctor diagnosed her 11-week old fetus with acrania – a condition which simply means that the baby’s skull had not closed over its brain. She was immediately advised to have an abortion as the child would not survive after birth and also to save herself from complications. It was the only option out for Helen and her little baby.
Upon relocating to Ireland a few months later, Linehan and his wife discovered that had they been living in Linehan’s home country at the time of the health complication, Helen would not have been able to have an abortion despite being detrimental to her health, as abortion is deemed illegal in the country with a penalty of a 14-year jail sentence.
Realizing how more traumatic it would have been if she couldn’t have the abortion, Linehan and his wife in October 2015, decided to support Amnesty International in their campaign to advocate for the decriminalization of abortion in Ireland.
2. He once battled a major health issue
Graham Linehan, in June 2018, brought to the media light that he is a survivor of testicular cancer. Post-diagnosis, Linehan successfully underwent a surgery to have one of his testicles removed. Subsequently, he had to undergo chemotherapy to ensure that cancer would not return.
3. His opinion on transgender rights in the UK
Apart from his successful TV shows, the next major thing that Graham Linehan is known for is his non-support of the trans community in Britain. Severally, he has taken to social media to speak about the issue. He hailed anti-trans protesters at London Pride as heroes in August 2018 and has compared transgender rights to Nazism.
One of Linehan’s major topic of focus on social media is the transgender people. In October 2018, he was engaged in a word fight on Twitter with a trans woman named Stephanie Hayden. Hayden pressed charges at the West Yorkshire Police after the comedian was slapped with a warning to avoid further contact with Hayden.
Hayden had been angered that Linehan refused to refer to her as “she” and insisted on referring to her by her former masculine name something that is referred to as “deadnaming” in the trans community.
4. Social media presence
Graham Linehan is an avid Twitter user, obviously his favourite social media platform. Since joining the platform in June 2007, Linehan has actively used it to share his thoughts on anything and everything, even his misgivings about the transgender community.
It was on the social media platform that Linehan hosted the first BadMovieClub on Friday the 13th of February 2009. He was the originator of a hoax that went around in 2011 that the al-Qaeda militant Osama Bin Laden was a huge fan of his show, The IT Crowd. Linehan boasts over 650 K followers on Twitter where he goes by the handle; @Glinner.
5. Graham Linehan is a non-religious person
Graham Linehan is not a believer of any religion but an atheist. He was a huge supporter of the Atheist Bus Campaign – an advertising campaign that lasted for a year between 2008 and 2009 with the aim to place banners promoting atheism on transport media in Britain in response to the advertisement done by evangelical Christians.