‘They just destroyed me’: Father Ted creator Graham Linehan breaks down in tears as he claims trans campaigners have ‘cost him his family and his marriage’

‘They just destroyed me’: Father Ted creator Graham Linehan breaks down in tears as he claims trans campaigners have ‘cost him his family and his marriage’. By David ODornan.

The creator of comedy series Father Ted broke down in tears as he claimed trans activists had cost him his family and his marriage before declaring that he had been ‘thoroughly cancelled’.

Bafta-winning writer Graham Linehan, whose credits include The IT Crowd, gave a rare interview to a late night BBC talk show in which he said his forthright views have seen his career pulled apart.

‘They took everything from me,’ the 53-year-old wept as he spoke to 5 Live’s Stephen Nolan. ‘They took my family.’

‘Before this, all I was doing was writing comedy and playing board games and being silly on the internet.

‘And then I just said, “No, hang on a sec, stop calling these women TERFs, stop sending them abuse. Let them speak” – and for that they just destroyed me.’ …

Mr Linehan believes he is standing up for the rights of women, but the attacks by the trans people cost him his marriage

Mr Linehan said that media companies are now snubbing him while all of his showbusiness friends have turned their backs.

He has even seen his stage musical version of Father Ted axed just as it was in rehearsals.

Over a number of years Mr Linehan has found himself embroiled in online debates on social media sites like Twitter which saw him attacked by trans activists for his defence of women’s rights and the importance of biological sex.

In the interview, broadcast yesterday, he admitted he never thought his stance on the issue would sound the death knell for the stage adaptation of Father Ted.

He said: ‘My original bet was that the [Father] Ted musical was too big to fail.

‘I simply thought, if they come after it, then that will be good because then people will see how crazy this is, how absurd and how censorious, how anti-female, how homophobic that this movement is.

‘So I kind of thought it would be OK but the more time passed… I was standing up, I was trying to explain my self as clearly as possible, and when they couldn’t come for me they came for my wife.

‘I’m living in a flat now because eventually the pressure of all this drove my wife and I apart and we divorced because of this.’

Last December, Mr Linehan told Mail on Sunday that producers at Hat Trick Productions informed him that plans for a stage musical of Father Ted could collapse unless he removed his name from the credits over fears that the show could become a target for trans campaigners.

He said at the time: ‘The production company are terrified that as soon as it opens, trans activists will try and shut it down.

‘Hat Trick have simply told me it will be impossible for them to be able to finance the show unless I am no longer associated with it.’

But now Mr Linehan has said the plug has been pulled and he has no one defending his position — not even those he previously considered showbiz friends. …

My celebrity friends, comedians — you know, intellectuals who have an opinion on everything else under the sun except this subject — this just sit and stay silent.

‘And all it needs is just a few adults to step into the room and say, “Hang on a second. He’s not saying anything particularly controversial. Why is he so toxic?”‘ …

He accepted his strident views have cost him his career and his marriage, but added: ‘The one thing about this that keeps me going is that I know I’m right. …

‘Every comedian knows that if they step on the wrong side of any particular line, it could be this or it could be any other number of things, there’s a few hot button issues where you have to follow a certain line and if you don’t, you’ll be destroyed.

Where were the adults? Where were his friends? Where were the brave?