Andy Riley |

Mentoring for a BAME comedy writer is happening again

I first did this back in February, with the intention of it being a yearly cycle, but I’m starting up a new mentee/mentor cycle earlier than planned. here’s what I’m offering: A year’s free mentoring, primarily by email, to one comedy writer (or writing partnership) from a BAME background who is/are either at the start of their career or very much wants to be. I started doing this (an earlier post has the details on that) because the comedy writing business doesn’t represent the ethnic make-up of the UK nearly enough. The first cycle is going very well. I did […]

#comedywritingsowhite, and one thing I’m doing about it

***UPDATE, MARCH 9TH: OK – I now have a mentee for the year. I’ve already contacted everybody who sent something, but if for whatever reason the e-mail didn’t arrive, and you’re reading this to find out you’re the mentee… sorry but not this time. But, assuming the year goes well, I will be repeating the selection process in February 2017. Anyone who submitted this year will be more than welcome to have another crack. Cheers, Andy*** Here’s what I’m offering – A year’s free mentoring, primarily by email, to one comedy writer (or writing partnership) from a BAME background who […]

What I’ve learned in 26 years as an Urban Cowboy


In September 1989 I was hitching through the Rocky Mountains. I was 19. I was in Durango, Colorado: a town I travelled to for the well-thought-out reason that there was a Ramones instrumental I liked called Durango 95. I had a few spare dollars to burn, so I bought a cowboy hat. A proper one, made out of beaver and rabbit fur minced up and turned into felt, not one of your novelty hen night items. It turned out to be a big style decision for me. When I got back to Britain a month later I kept on wearing […]

We won at the Emmys


An astonishing evening last Sunday. I went to the Emmy awards in Los Angeles, as part of the writing team for HBO’s Veep. It won Emmys in four categories: outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series, outstanding writing for a comedy series, and the really big one – outstanding comedy series. For that last one, I was one of the names on the citation so I got to jump on stage with the whole gang, experience the backstage whirlwind of interviews and pictures, and best of all get a shiny Emmy with my […]

Get a telly. Just get a telly.


There was a man I was talking to in the pub and he wound me up. It wound me up that he wound me up because he was a lovely guy. Stood his round, thoughtful, conscientious, witty. All you things you want from a friend of a friend in a pub. I had to rein myself in so I didn’t become the bad guy. The problem was that he was occupying a position which is guaranteed to have me gnashing the table. When he found out I worked in telly, he mused on the fact that he didn’t own one. […]