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Frankie Boyle
Birth name Francis Martin Patrick Boyle
Born 16 August 1972 (1972-08-16) (age 37)
Pollokshields, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Medium Stand-up, television
Years active 1995-present
Genres Black comedy, Observational comedy, Improv comedy
Subject(s) Scottish culture, Current events
Notable works and roles Mock the Week

Francis Martin Patrick "Frankie" Boyle[1] (born 16 August 1972) is a Scottish comedian and writer, well known for his pessimistic, often controversial dark humour. He was a permanent panellist on Mock the Week for seven series and has made guest appearances on several popular panel games including Have I Got News For You, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You?, You Have Been Watching, Never Mind The Buzzcocks (as guest host) and Argumental, as well as writing for Jimmy Carr's show Distraction and Sean Lock's TV Heaven, Telly Hell.


Early life

Boyle was born in Glasgow and went to Saint Convals Primary School in Pollokshaws then Holyrood R.C. Secondary School on Dixon Road on Glasgow's South side. After leaving school, he attended Aston University for a year before leaving and starting a BA in English at the University of Sussex. Whilst doing a teacher-training course in Edinburgh at the age of 23, he began stand-up routines in October 1995 at university student unions, leaving his education course.[2] He got his big break after performing at the Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh, a venue that has also helped launch the careers of Stewart Lee, Johnny Vegas, Dara Ó Briain and Michael McIntyre. [3]

Personal life

Boyle currently lives in Glasgow with his partner, Shereen Taylor, [4] and has two children: a daughter (born 2004) and a son, (born October 2007). He admits that his career has caused him to neglect his family. He revealed in his autobiography that he is a supporter of Celtic F.C. [5] He is a recovering alcoholic, having started drinking at the age of 15 and stopping at 26, and former drug user, who is now teetotal.[6][7]




Boyle was a regular on the BBC panel show Mock The Week until October 2009, where the panel comment humorously on various news stories from the British media. He has been referred to as the 'dark heart of Mock the Week' by host Dara Ó Briain. [8] He is known for his morbid sense of humour, which plays on negative images of society (particularly his country of birth, Scotland), celebrities and politicians.

On 2 October 2009, he announced he was leaving the show to concentrate on other projects. It was announced to the public via Facebook on the 'Mock the Week' fan page, [9] and later confirmed by the BBC.[10] Fans of the star soon rallied around to get him to stay and a popular Facebook group was made straight away, displaying how strongly the fans felt about their favourite star. [11]

Boyle though has since criticised both the show's production team and the BBC Trust. He claims that the show did not cover enough major news stories and was too restrictive on his risque comedy act, as the producers and the BBC Trust were afraid of "frightening the horses".[12]

Front cover of his autobiography.

He returned to Mock The Week for his final appearance on the 2009 Christmas Special which aired on 22 December 2009 as a series of best bits and festive clips. On December 9, 2009 he appeared as the guest host of Never Mind The Buzzcocks. [13]

He recently piloted a sketch and stand-up show for Channel 4, entitled 'Deal With This, Retards' to be produced by RDF Scotland subsidiary the Comedy Unit.[14]


On 1 October, 2009, Boyle's first autobiographical book titled My Shit Life So Far was released, [15] published by Harper Collins. [16]


It was reported on 24 October 2008 that Boyle was to begin a weekly column in the Daily Record, a Scottish tabloid newspaper.[17] On 26 June 2009, he reported via his MySpace profile that he had quit his newspaper column as "they refused to print any Michael Jackson jokes." This message was followed by the article he wanted to be printed, which contained dozens of Michael Jackson-based jokes referring to the singer's health, childhood and paedophilia charges.[18]

Live Shows

In October 2007 Boyle embarked on a long stand-up tour of the UK, playing over 100 dates and enjoying a sold-out run that was extended through until December 2008. Boyle plans to quit stand-up before he turns 40, and has stated that he has written his final tour and plans to do more TV work after this. [19] Boyle intends to perform his final tour, entitled I Would Happily Punch Every One Of You In The Face between March and December 2010. [20]

Cover of his live DVD.

DVD Releases

On 10 November 2008 Boyle's first DVD was released,[8] featuring a sell-out stand-up performance given at London's Hackney Empire and some additional material, including a documentary about the tour, entitled Fuck You Scotland, and some sketches from the BBC3 comedy Rush Hour. [21] The DVD was described by as "certainly not one to watch with your grandparents – not unless they are pretty open-minded!" [22]

He has also featured in two DVD compilations of material from Mock The Week. The compilations, entitled Too Hot For TV and Too Hot For TV 2 include material deemed too offensive for broadcast on TV and uncut versions of several full episodes.


In 16 July, 2009 Boyle's first podcast was released. Entitled Mock the Week Musings, the podcast is a recording of Boyle testing the material he has written for Mock the Week to a London audience. Boyle comments on his material throughout and often informs the audience that certain jokes are not going into the show due to their reaction (or lack thereof). A few times, Boyle drifts off into some audience interaction, even offering to test some of his new "put-downs" on the crowd. [23]

The podcast contains material that Boyle knows won't make the final edit of Mock the Week due to its shocking nature and the podcast therefore carries an explicit content warning. [24]


Boyle managed to attract censorship in August 2008 when complaints were received after comments he made about British swimmer Rebecca Adlington on Mock The Week. The BBC ruled that the jokes were indeed "humiliating" and "risked offending the audience", whilst also calling Boyle "a brilliant member of the team". [25] Despite this, Adlington's agent said that simply admitting mistakes was not enough, saying: "By giving Frankie Boyle a rebuke they fail to discourage others from doing the same." [26]

In October 2008, whilst the Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row raged on, Boyle found himself in the midst of a scandal when the BBC broadcast a Mock The Week repeat in which he made a joke about the Queen which was perceived to be offensive. [27] This caused many to complain about the state that the BBC had come to with Tory MP David Davies calling the joke a "disgracefully foul comment". [28] Boyle was eventually cleared of any misconduct by the BBC Trust, although they confessed that the comment was "sexist and ageist". [29] Despite the media backlash around this issue, fellow comic Dara Ó Briain spoke out against the reaction saying: "not every TV show is for everyone". [30]

TV appearances

TV Show No. of Episodes
They Think It's All Over 4
8 Out of 10 Cats 7
Mock The Week 54 (excluding archive footage)
Never Mind the Buzzcocks 1
Would I Lie To You? 3
Have I Got News for You 2
News Knight with Sir Trevor McDonald 2
The Charlotte Church Show 1
Live at the Apollo 2
You Have Been Watching 3
Argumental 4



  • My Shit Life So Far (2009)


In Popular Culture

Boyle can be found performing parts of his recent tour in the comedy club in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned. [31]

On 25 August 2009, BBC News reported that a group called the Paisley Young Team had hacked the website of Tayside Police on 20 August and posted a photograph of Frankie Boyle alongside one of his jokes.[32]


  1. ^ "For a long time, having to do a stand-up gig would ruin my day". 2007-07-24. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  
  2. ^ EXCLUSIVE: BOYLE-ING POINT! By Rick Fulton (Mar 3 2006)
  3. ^ Claire Sawers (2009-12-20). "Where Frankie Boyle got his shot at fame". Times Online. Retrieved 2009-12-24.  
  4. ^ "Confessions Of An Urban Planner; Frankie Boyle The Big Interview". Sunday Mercury. 2008-11-16. Retrieved 2009-12-21.  
  5. ^ "Frankie Boyle: I'll quit comedy in two years". 2008-12-27. Retrieved 2009-07-26.  
  6. ^ "Frankie Boyle: I've done cannabis, ecstasy and LSD". 2008-11-11. Retrieved 2009-07-26.  
  7. ^ Wyllie, Alice (27th September, 2009). "Profile: Frankie Boyle: Frankie mocks the weak". Scotsman on Sunday. Retrieved 27th September, 2009.  
  8. ^ a b "Is Frankie Boyle the UK's most shocking comic?". Times Online. 2008-11-01. Retrieved 2009-12-07.  
  9. ^ Frankie Boyle (2009-10-02). "Frankie's suicide note". Facebook. Retrieved 2009-12-14.  
  10. ^ Boyle leaves Mock The Week panel, BBC, 2 October 2009
  11. ^ Sean Atkinson. "We want Frankie Boyle back on Mock The Week!". Facebook. Retrieved 2009-12-14.  
  12. ^ "Frankie Boyle slams Mock The Week". uk.msn. 27 October 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009.  
  13. ^ "BBC Two Programmes - Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Series 23, Episode 11". BBC. Retrieved 2009-12-10.  
  14. ^ Broadcast Now, 2 October 2009
  15. ^ "Frankie Boyle launches his autobiography". Intelligent Conversation. 2009-09-22. Retrieved 2009-12-07.  
  16. ^ Boyle, Frankie (2009). My Shit Life So Far. Harper Collins. pp. 291. ISBN 978-0-00-732449-1.  
  17. ^ Star comic Frankie Boyle is new Daily Record columnist (24th October 2008)
  18. ^ Frankie Boyle's MySpace (26th June 2009)
  19. ^ "Boyle:I'm Quitting Stand up ''''". Retrieved 2009-07-26.  
  20. ^ "Frankie Boyle Live Tickets". Ticketmaster. Retrieved 2009-12-07.  
  21. ^ Frankie Boyle Live DVD, (2008), Brian Klein, notes from: Back Cover. Channel 4,.
  22. ^ Lianne (2008-11-13). "Frankie Boyle Live DVD Review". Retrieved 2009-12-07.  
  23. ^ Frankie Boyle. Mock The Week Musings iTunes BBC. (2009-07-16). Podcast accessed on 2009-12-24.
  24. ^ "Frankie Boyle: Mock The Week Musings". iTunes. 2009-07-16. Retrieved 2009-12-24.  
  25. ^ "'Mock' rapped over swimmer jibes". BBC. 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2009-12-14.  
  26. ^ "Swimmer queries Mock show ruling". BBC. 2009-11-102. Retrieved 2009-12-14.  
  27. ^ Olinka Koster (2008-10-31). "Even as Russell Brand row raged, BBC 'comedians' were insulting the Queen". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2009-12-14.  
  28. ^ Rashid Razaq (2008-10-31). "Corporation attacked for offensive joke about the Queen". Retrieved 2009-12-14.  
  29. ^ Tara Conlan (2009-10-19). "Frankie Boyle's 'sexist' joke about Queen cleared by BBC Trust". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-12-14.  
  30. ^ David Lowe (2008-12-02). "The audience is the funniest gag at any of my gigs". The Sun. Retrieved 2009-12-24.  
  31. ^ "Review - Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned". Retrieved 2009-03-05.  
  32. ^ "'Frankie Boyle web-hack' probed". BBC News. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009.  

External links


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