|Birth name||Francis Martin Patrick Boyle|
16 August 1972 |
Pollokshaws, Glasgow, Scotland
|Genres||One-liners, black comedy, blue comedy, wit, improvisational comedy, insult comedy, political satire|
|Subject(s)||Scottish culture, celebrities, politics, television, current events|
Francis Martin Patrick "Frankie" Boyle (born 16 August 1972) is a Scottish comedian and writer, well known for his pessimistic and often controversial sense of humour. He was a permanent panellist on the comedy panel show Mock the Week for seven series and has made guest appearances on several other popular panel shows 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 team captain when Phill Jupitus was unavailable for recording), and Argumental, as well as writing for Jimmy Carr's Distraction and Sean Lock's TV Heaven, Telly Hell.
Early life 
Boyle was born and brought up in Glasgow to Irish parents from the Crolly area of Co. Donegal. After leaving school he attended Aston University for a year (where he studied Urban Planning) before leaving and starting a BA in English Literature at Sussex University. When he was doing a teacher-training course in Edinburgh at the age of 23, he began doing stand-up routines. 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.
Mock the Week 
Boyle was a regular on the BBC panel show Mock the Week until October 2009, a show in which 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. He is known for his morbid sense of humour, which plays on negative images of celebrities, politicians, and society (particularly his home country of Scotland). On 2 October 2009, Boyle announced that 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. Boyle 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 risqué comedy act because the producers and the BBC Trust were afraid of "frightening the horses". 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 9 December 2009, he was the guest host of Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights 
In October 2009, Boyle 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. Boyle mentioned on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross that the original title of the show had been dropped, due to its offensive nature, and been renamed Tramadol Nights and aired from the end of November 2010. An official page launched via Channel 4's official website, which confirmed that the show's full name is Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights and the series was made up of six episodes. Boyle caused controversy on the show with his comments about Katie Price and Peter Andre's disabled son Harvey.
Frankie Boyle's Rehabilitation Programme 
On 21 August 2011, it was revealed that Channel 4 had given Boyle permission to record a pilot for a topical talk show in October of that year, which would be called Frankie Boyle's Rehabilitation Programme (despite the controversy surrounding Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights). Channel 4 head of comedy Shane Allen told the press that "it's very much like Parkinson or Wogan, but with paedo jokes" and that the show would feature Frankie "in a studio, riffing off the audience a bit with some people challenging what he says". After the pilot (which was said to be "non-transmittable") was recorded, it was announced on 30 January 2012 that Channel 4 had chosen not to commission the series, nor were there any plans to commission a second series of Tramadol Nights. The pilot episode was included as a bonus feature on the DVD release of Frankie's third stand up tour, The Last Days of Sodom and featured guests Jack Whitehall and Reginald D. Hunter.
The Boyle Variety Performance 
On 15 June 2012, it was announced that a new show hosted by Boyle entitled The Boyle Variety Performance would air sometime in August, as part of a Channel 4 event called Funny Fortnight. A spokesman for Channel 4 described the show as "Frankie's unique take on a royal variety event. The show came direct from a London theatre and featured content so cutting-edge and scurrilously funny that no self-respecting royal would dream of attending". The show was broadcast on 19 August 2012 and featured Boyle with guests Rob Delaney and Nick Helm. A few days after the show was broadcast, Boyle attracted criticism after he posted jokes on Twitter about the 2012 Summer Paralympics.
It was reported on 24 October 2008 that Boyle was to begin a weekly column in the Daily Record, a Scottish tabloid newspaper. 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. Frankie Boyle now writes articles in The Sun, satirising the weekly news as he did previously on Mock the Week.
Live shows 
In October 2007 Boyle embarked on a long stand-up tour of Britain, playing over 100 dates and enjoying a sold-out run that was extended through until December 2008. Boyle said that he planned to quit stand-up before he turned 40, had written his final tour and plans to do more television work after this. Boyle performed the tour, entitled I Would Happily Punch Every One of You in the Face between March and December 2010.
On 21 November 2011, at a "Meet the Comedians" session in the Apple Store, Regent Street with Jimmy Carr, Boyle announced he was doing another tour entitled The Last Days of Sodom, despite intending I Would Happily Punch Every One of You in the Face to be his final one. He mentioned the tour will not be as long as its predecessor. His website has stated it will run from July to December 2012 with more dates to be added. Tickets went on sale in December 2011.
DVD releases 
On 10 November 2008, Boyle's first DVD was released, 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 BBC Three comedy Rush Hour. The DVD was described by WhatDVD.net as "certainly not one to watch with your grandparents – not unless they are pretty open-minded!"
Boyle has also featured in three DVD compilations of material from Mock the Week. The compilations, entitled Too Hot for TV, include material deemed too offensive for broadcast on TV and uncut versions of several full episodes. Boyle's second live DVD, If I Could Reach Out Through Your TV and Strangle You I Would, was released on 15 November 2010.
On 16 July 2009 Boyle's first, and only, 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), and the podcast carries an explicit content warning. The recording includes some audience interaction, with Boyle offering to test some of his new "put-downs" on the crowd.
Comic book 
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (January 2011)|
In September 2010, Boyle began publishing his comic strip Rex Royd in the launch issue of CLiNT magazine, co-written with comedian Jim Muir and with artwork by Michael Dowling. The story follows a Lex Luthor-style newspaper magnate with a super-villain alter-ego. Initially, the strip ran for first four issues of CLiNT. The strip resumed again in November 2011.
Other appearances 
Boyle appeared as himself in the video game Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned, in a stand-up routine at Liberty City's Split Sides Comedy Club. He appeared on Real Radio Wales' weekly comedy show Comedy Nighthorse on 19 October 2011.
Rebecca Adlington 
Boyle managed to attract criticism in August 2008 when complaints were received about comments he made regarding British swimmer Rebecca Adlington on Mock the Week, saying that she "looks like someone who's looking at themselves in the back of a spoon". The BBC ruled that the jokes were indeed "humiliating" and "risked offending the audience", while also calling Boyle "a brilliant member of the team". 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." Adlington later went on to say she was hypocritical in making this complaint.
The Queen 
In October 2008, during The Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row, 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, saying that she was "so old that [her] pussy is haunted". This caused many to complain about the state that the BBC had come to with Conservative MP David Davies calling the joke a "disgracefully foul comment". Boyle was eventually cleared of any misconduct by the BBC Trust, although they called the comment "sexist and ageist". Despite the media backlash, fellow comic Dara Ó Briain spoke out against the reaction and said that "not every TV show is for everyone".
Down syndrome 
In a performance on his 2010 tour, Boyle interrupted a "long, seemingly semi-improvised skit" about Down's syndrome by challenging a woman in the front row who seemed uncomfortable with the material. The audience member explained that her five-year-old girl had the condition, and strongly criticised Boyle's portrayal of Down's syndrome. Boyle replied to the woman, “Oh well, it’s all true isn’t it?”  Mencap spokesman Ismail Kaji said that the comments could be misconstrued and seen as "no different to bullying".
Palestine and Israel 
In April 2010, the BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee apologised for a joke made by Boyle on Radio 4 panel show Political Animal in which he likened the situation in Palestine to "a cake being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew". Boyle also made another joke where he said that he had "been studying Israeli Army martial arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back". In response, Boyle published a letter in which he criticised the Trust's "cowardly rebuke of my jokes about Palestine" and reprinted the jokes in question. He then criticised the BBC for not broadcasting a humanitarian appeal during the 2008–2009 Gaza War, saying that it was "tragic for such a great institution but it is now cravenly afraid of giving offence and vulnerable to any kind of well drilled lobbying." Boyle then said that the situation in Palestine "seems to be, in essence, apartheid", concluding that he had reached this position after watching a documentary about life in Palestine that he said had driven him to tears.
Harvey Price 
In December 2010, both Katie Price and Peter Andre were said to have been left "absolutely disgusted and sickened" by a joke that was made on Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights about Price's heavily disabled son, Harvey. On the show, Boyle said: "Apparently Jordan and Peter Andre are fightin' each other over custody of Harvey, well eventually one of them'll lose and have to keep him." Then he added: "I have a theory that Jordan married a cage fighter cause she needed someone strong enough to stop Harvey from fuckin' her."
In a response, Katie Price said: "Harvey Price is a little miracle. Every day he overcomes so many difficulties with the help of family and medical experts and has so many tiny battles to win due to his medical problems and autism. I love him and am deeply proud to be his mother. If Mr Boyle had a tenth of his courage and decency he would know that to suggest, let alone think funny, that Harvey may sexually attack me is vile and deeply unfair. Mr Boyle clearly has serious issues and those that give him a TV platform to say such disgusting things need to look at themselves very honestly."
Andre's representative also responded to the comments made by Boyle and said "We're all disgusted by these comments. Peter is angry and very upset at Harvey being mocked in this way. Children, especially a disabled youngster, should be off-limits." Both confirmed that they had sought legal action and wrote a complaint to Channel 4 regarding Boyle's jokes with Price saying: "To bully this unbelievably brave child is despicable; to broadcast it is to show a complete and utter lack of judgement. I have asked my lawyers to write to Channel 4." Ofcom confirmed that Price issued a complaint and accordingly launched an investigation into the programme. In April 2011 Ofcom ruled Channel 4 had breached broadcasting rules by transmitting the material in question but did not require the network to broadcast an apology saying that it was "erroneous decision on a matter of editorial judgment on the broadcaster's part". Price criticised the decision not to require a broadcast apology.
Boyle discussed the material onstage at a charity gig some months later, saying that the joke was intended to highlight how Price exploited her son, and that he felt the two aspects of Price's media profile, "her disabled son and her sexuality", did not belong together. He rejected comments that the joke may have led to playground bullying, saying that "I find it hard to believe there are kids at that school who would like to slag Harvey, but can’t think of an angle."
Simon Weston 
In 2012, Boyle tweeted a joke about Simon Weston, a British Falklands War veteran who suffered permanent burn injuries during that war; "30 years since the Falklands War and Simon Weston doesn't seem to have aged a day". The joke sparked outrage and criticism, including from Major-General Julian Thompson.
2012 Tax controversy 
In June 2012, The Daily Mail accused Boyle of avoiding tax in the amount of £873,388 through a process of liquidating (winding-up) one of his companies "Traskor Productions Limited", making him liable to pay only 10% tax instead of a maximum of 50%. Boyle strongly rebutted the Daily Mail’s claims, saying on Twitter: "From 2007 I have paid £2.7m in tax and this equates to just under 40% of my income. There's a lot of things people do to avoid paying tax and I don't do any of them. I wound my company up for legal reasons separate from tax and my accountant applied for tax relief on this. This tax relief is approximately half of the tax saving the Mail quoted in its article today. I am certain I pay more tax than most people in show business and the cabinet."
Allegations of racism and libel action 
In July 2011, the Daily Mirror published an article which strongly criticised Boyle, alleging he had been forced to quit Mock the Week and describing him as a 'racist comedian'. In response, he sued the Mirror for libel, and in October 2012 a jury found in his favour, ordering the Mirror to pay him £54,650 in damages, all of which he donated to charity.
Give It Up for Comic Relief 
On 6 March 2013, Boyle caused controversy yet again when he was invited to perform at Russell Brand's BBC Three fundraiser Give It Up for Comic Relief. He made a series of crude jokes about Queen Elizabeth II, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Oscar Pistorius, Pope Benedict XVI and the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal. Boyle opened his rant by exclaiming: "Genuinely quite surprised to be here. I thought the only way I'd ever get back on the BBC would have been if I started fucking kids.", and then went on to claim that "I think the BBC made Jimmy Savile wear that jewellery so children could hear him coming." He also said: "I can't believe she [the Duchess of Cambridge] is pregnant to be honest because she told me she was on the pill." Taking a dig at the Queen, he said: "I wish the Queen had died the night before the Royal Jubilee - I wish she'd just fucking died. But they wouldn't have been able to tell us that she'd died. They would have had to hollow out her body and get that guy who plays Gollum to wear it." This was deemed so distasteful that his entire six-minute performance was cut out of the 3.5 hour show. Despite several newspapers claiming that Boyle was booed by the audience and drew gasps as well, you can clearly see here that, although he was clearly booed by a small section of the audience for his joke regarding the Queen's death, the majority of the crowd laughed at his jokes.
Personal life 
Boyle lives in Glasgow with his partner, Shereen Taylor, and has two children: a daughter (born 2004) and a son (born October 2007). He has admitted that his career had caused him to neglect his family. 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.
Live shows 
|2007–2008||Morons, I Can Heal You|
|2010||I Would Happily Punch Every One of You in the Face|
|2012||The Last Days of Sodom|
Stand-up DVDs 
|2008||Frankie Boyle Live||Live at London's Hackney Empire|
|2010||If I Could Reach Out Through Your TV and Strangle You, I Would||Live at London's HMV Hammersmith Apollo|
|2012||The Last Days of Sodom||Live at Glasgow's King's Theatre|
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- Boyle, Frankie (2008-11-16). Confessions of an urban planner. Interview with Roz Laws. Sunday Mercury. http://www.thefreelibrary.com/telly%3A+Confessions+of+an+urban+planner%3B+frankie+boyle+the+big...-a0189030560. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- Boyle, Frankie (2012-08-24). Q&A: Frankie Boyle. Interview with Rosanna Greenstreet. guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/aug/24/frankie-boyle-comedian. Retrieved 2012-09-12.
- EXCLUSIVE: BOYLE-ING POINT! By Rick Fulton dailyrecord.co.uk (Mar 3 2006)
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- Olinka Koster (2008-10-31). "Even as Russell Brand row raged, BBC 'comedians' were insulting the Queen". London: The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
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- Ofcom slams Frankie Boyle 'jokes' about Katie Price's disabled son Harvey
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- "'I wish the Queen had died': Offensive Frankie Boyle jokes cut from BBC Comic Relief broadcast". The Independent. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Frankie Boyle booed by Comic Relief crowd as he makes 'jokes' about the Queen and Duchess of Cambridge so revolting that his entire sketch is axed from BBC3 broadcast". Daily Mail. 7 March 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- Boyle, Simon (7 March 2013). ""I wish the Queen had died": Frankie Boyle's bad-taste routine axed from BBC Comic Relief broadcast". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
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- Jeffries, Stuart (19 December 2009). "Frankie Boyle lays into celebrity memoirs as his own is a surprise hit". The Guardian (London).
- frankieboyle.com - Official website
- Frankie Boyle at the Internet Movie Database
- Frankie Boyle's column in the Daily Record
- Upcoming gigs
- Frankie Boyle live review