Bestselling author, scriptwriter and political activist.
John O’Farrell grew up in Maidenhead, attending Desborough Comprehensive School and also Redroofs Theatre School. He appeared in the horror film ‘From Beyond the Grave’, which starred another local celebrity, Diana Dors.
However, it is for his writing that O’Farrell found fame. He first made his mark in television comedy, becoming one of the lead writers on ‘Spitting Image’, and also wrote for ‘Alas Smith and Jones’, Clive Anderson and Nick Hancock. He co-wrote the sitcom ‘The Peter Principle’ with Mark Burton.
O’Farrell has also written a number of successful books, both fiction and non-fiction. His novels include ‘The Best a Man Can Get’ and ‘The Man Who Forgot His Wife’. His non-fiction includes ‘An Utterly Exasperated History of Modern Britain’, and ‘Things Can Only Get Better’, a bestseller about his life as a Labour supporter.
Always versatile, O’Farrell has written columns for the Independent and Guardian newspapers, and created the satirical website NewsBiscuit. He also makes regular television appearances on programmes such as Newsnight and Question Time.
He has always been a committed member of the Labour Party. He stood as a candidate for Maidenhead in the 2001 General Election, which he lost, and in the Eastleigh by-election in 2013, where he finished fourth despite increasing the Labour vote. He has written jokes for both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, among others.
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