QI Panellist

The QI guest list is usually filled with comedians who’ve cut their teeth doing stand-up. When we make exceptions, it has to be for someone who is rather special. As one of the UK's most successful and revered sitcom writers of the last 20 years, Graham Linehan is certainly that; hence, it was with more than a little excitement that we welcomed him onto the QI panel in Series K.
Graham was one half of the team that gave us Father Ted and Big Train, and he also wrote and directed The IT Crowd. He’s written for Black Books, The Fast Show, I’m Alan Partridge, Jam, Smith and Jones, Harry Enfield and Chums, Brass Eye, The Armstrong and Miller Show and many others. In 2011, he wrote and staged a very successful theatre version of the Ealing Studios classic The Ladykillers.
Graham met Arthur Mathews - his co-writer on Father Ted, The Fast Show and Big Train - when they worked together at Hot Press, an Irish rock magazine based in Dublin. They created Ted and Ralph for The Fast Show and wrote sketches for Harry Enfield And Chums before writing Father Ted. In 2003 the Observer named them one of the 50 funniest acts to work with in television.
The first series that Graham wrote completely on his own, The IT Crowd, won an Emmy in 2008. The third series won a BAFTA for best sitcom. In 2009 he won the Ronnie Barker Award for writing at the British Comedy Awards and received a standing ovation.
Unsurprisingly, then, he took QI in his stride, blending in seamlessly with old hands Jimmy Carr and Jo Brand and turning out some marvellous one-liners. But it’s writing that really drives him: ‘To me, writing is like knowing that something is under a load of already hardened cement and you have to dig it out with a spoon. Then you get to it and there’s that moment of excitement. The reward is the work.’

Graham Linehan

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FATHER TED in Father Ted

I'm not a fascist, I'm a priest. Fascists dress in black and go around telling people what to do, whereas... priests... More drink!

BERNARD BLACK in Black Books

Don't you dare use the word 'party' as a verb in this shop!


I hope it doesn't sound arrogant when I say that I am the greatest man in the world.

BERNARD BLACK in Black Books

"Enjoy the book. It's dreadful but it's quite short."