Graham Linehan is one of Ireland’s most renowned comedians. In addition to doing stand-up comedy, Linehan has written and co-written a number of hit shows, among them; The Computer Crowd, Father Ted, and Black Books. For her contributions to British media, Linehan has won at least four BAFTA Awards. He continues to write scripts for TV shows, albeit occasionally. Learn more about this ace comedian and writer in these 5 interesting facts.
Facts about Graham Linehan
1. Graham Linehan lost a family member
Graham Linehan was happily married to his wife, writer Helen Serafinowicz (sister of English actor and comedian Peter Serafinowicz) for years. The couple are blessed with two children but the number could have been three had his wife Helen not lost a child in 2004. It was technically an abortion, necessary for her health.
The couple were already living in England in 2004 when Helen’s doctor diagnosed her 11-week-old fetus with acrania – a condition that simply means the baby’s skull hadn’t closed over her 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 for Helen and her little baby.
After moving to Ireland a few months later, Linehan and his wife discovered that if they had been living in Linehan’s home country at the time of the health complication, Helen could not have had an abortion despite the harming her health, as abortion is deemed illegal in the country with a penalty of 14 years in prison.
Realizing how much more traumatic it would have been if she couldn’t have an 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, came forward to the media that he is a testicular cancer survivor. After the diagnosis, Linehan successfully underwent surgery to remove one of his testicles. Afterwards, he had to undergo chemotherapy to make sure the cancer wouldn’t come back.
3. Her opinion on transgender rights in the UK
Apart from his hit TV shows, the next biggest reason Graham Linehan is known is his non-support of the trans community in Britain. Severely, he took to social media to speak out on the matter. He hailed London Pride anti-trans protesters as heroes in August 2018 and compared transgender rights to Nazism.
One of Linehan’s main topics of discussion in the media is transgender people. In October 2018, he engaged in a Twitter word fight with a trans woman named Stephanie Hayden. Hayden has filed a complaint against West Yorkshire Police after the comedian was slapped with a warning to avoid contact with Hayden.
Hayden had been angry that Linehan refused to call her “her” and insisted on referring to her by her old male name, something that is called “deadnaming” in the trans community.
4. Social media presence
Graham Linehan is an avid user of Twitter, obviously his favorite 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 Linehana hosted the first BadMovieClub on Friday, February 13, 2009. He was behind a hoax that made the rounds in 2011 that al-Qaeda militant Osama bin Laden was a huge fan of his show, The Computer Crowd. Linehan has over 650K Twitter followers where he goes by the hilt; @Glinner.
5. Graham Linehan is a non-religious person
Graham Linehan does not believe in any religion but an atheist. He was a big supporter of the Atheist Bus Campaign – a year-long advertising campaign between 2008 and 2009 with the aim of placing banners promoting atheism on transport media in Britain in response to publicity made by evangelical Christians.