Bafta-winning writer Graham Linehan has praised TV presenters Richard Ayoade and Jonathan Ross for their “bravery” in supporting his new memoir about being “cancelled” after criticising the trans rights movement.
The Father Ted creator, 55, who also wrote TV sitcoms The IT Crowd and Black Books, has written a new book titled Tough Crowd: How I Made And Lost A Career In Comedy which features positive reviews from Ayoade and Ross on the front cover.
Both the comedians received a backlash online for their reviews, which saw IT Crowd star Ayoade describe the memoir as an “extraordinary and chilling portrayal of cancel culture”, while chat show host Ross said it was a “compelling and unflinchingly honest” memoir.
On Saturday, Irishman Linehan was asked about the TV stars’ support while he was protesting at a Let Women Speak rally in Merrion Square in Dublin.
“I just think that’s what the vast majority of people really feel,” he told the PA news agency.
“It’s only a few extremists who think that women shouldn’t have their own sports and their own private spaces.
“I’m hoping that their bravery will mean that other people can just say what they think about this subject.”
The book, set for release on October 12, is billed as an “emotionally charged memoir” that details the so-called unravelling of his career after he “championed an unfashionable cause”.
It comes after Linehan had two venues in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe refuse to host his comedy show this year.
Leith Arches said the decision to cancel the booking was because his views did not “align” with their overall values.
Linehan, who has won five Bafta awards as well as a lifetime achievement award during his career, went on to host his comedy routine outside the Scottish Parliament in an open air show.
The synopsis for his upcoming memoir states Linehan “berates an industry where there was no-one to stand by his side when he needed help”.
It added: “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.”
In the reviews section, Ayoade wrote: “A brilliant account of the evolution of a comedy writer, but also an extraordinary and chilling portrayal of cancel culture. I found it unputdownable.”
While Ross said: “One of the most compelling and unflinchingly honest memoirs I’ve read in many years. It’s also the funniest.”