Pauline McLynn

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Pauline McLynn
Born (1962-07-11) 11 July 1962 (age 52)
Sligo, Ireland
Medium Television, film
Nationality Irish
Years active 1988–present
Genres Character comedy
Spouse Richard Cook (m. 1997)
Website Official website

Pauline McLynn (born 11 July 1962 in Sligo)[1][2] is an Irish character comedy actress and author, best known for playing roles such as Mrs Doyle in the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted, and Libby Croker in the Channel 4 comedy drama Shameless.

Early life[edit]

McLynn was born in Sligo but grew up in Galway. She studied History of Art and Modern English at Trinity College, Dublin, but was more heavily involved in Trinity's Dublin University Players, the college's drama society.[3] She graduated with an MA.[4]


Acting career[edit]

Although McLynn was in her early thirties when playing Mrs Doyle, makeup was used to make her look far older to fit the character's profile. She received a British Comedy Award for her performances in 1996. The award was presented to her by Tony Blair.

Other televised appearances have been in sketches on Bremner, Bird and Fortune, and numerous panel shows, including Just a Minute, Have I Got News For You, and If I Ruled the World. In 1999, she appeared in the film adaptation of Angela's Ashes. She has also appeared in Jennifer Saunders' Jam & Jerusalem. In the late 1990s she was recruited to play Mrs Doyle for a UK advert for online Tax returns by the Inland Revenue and became infamous for the phrase 'Go Online'.[5]

McLynn also got an unusual opportunity during her only appearance on They Think It's All Over, the BBC1 TV show. Fellow guest panellist Gabby Yorath requested that she be allowed to take part in the Feel the Sportsman Round (which was unusual at the time as the team captain usually did this along with the other, regular panellist). Yorath was granted her request, and Pauline (who was on the opposing team) was offered the chance to don the blindfold herself and take part with her team captain Rory McGrath. She was only the third woman to do so at the time.

McLynn was critically acclaimed for her performance in the 2005 film Gypo, receiving an Irish Film and Television Award nomination for Best Actress.[6]

McLynn can be seen in Shameless, with the series showing on British broadcaster Channel 4 on 10 January 2011. In January 2011 it was announced that she had left the show, reportedly after a "difficult year".[7] McLynn now plays the role of Alice's mother in the Comedy Central show Threesome.

McLynn has also featured on Metro Radio, a radio station in the North East. McLynn did the "Mrs. Doyle" voiceover on an Advert for a local estate agents and letting agents in newcastle Clarke Holland.[citation needed]

McLynn plays Mary Whyte in the BBC's 2013 sitcom Father Figure.[8]

In 2014 McLynn played the part of Evelyn, Sandra's sister in Pramface, BBC comedy. This was the episode named 'Kiss For The Camera' featured in series 3 of the programme.

On 12 May 2014, McLynn joined the cast of EastEnders as Yvonne Cotton, the mother of Charlie Cotton (Declan Bennett) and ex-daughter-in-law of Dot Branning (June Brown).[9]

Writing career[edit]

McLynn is the author of seven novels. These include Missing You Already, Bright Lights and Promises, Summer in the City, The Woman on the Bus, Right on Time, Better than a Rest and Something for the Weekend.

Personal life[edit]

McLynn is married to theatrical agent Richard Cook.[10] She is a patron of the children's charity World Vision Ireland.[11] and is vice-president of Friends of Innisfree Housing Association.[12] McLynn is a big fan of the Premier League football team Aston Villa.[13] She says her best moment supporting Villa came in 1996 when she watched her beloved team beat Leeds United in the Football League Cup final with her Father Ted co-star Ardal O'Hanlon who is a big Leeds supporter.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title Result
1996 British Comedy Award Top TV Comedy Actress Father Ted Won[14]
2006 Torino International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Special Mention: Best Video Gypo Won[15]
2007 Irish Film and Television Award Best Actress in a Lead Role in a Feature Film Gypo Nominated


  1. ^ polar The official Pauline McLynn website
  2. ^ Biography The official Pauline McLynn website
  3. ^ Aine O'Connor "Interview: Unexpectedly novel", The Sunday Times, 11 December 2005
  4. ^ DU Players
  5. ^ "Mrs Doyle in 'most annoying ad'". BBC News. 3 January 2002. 
  6. ^ "Pauline McLynn – Awards & Nominations". IMDb. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Ian Wylie "Shameless star Pauline McLynn quits show after 'difficult year'", Manchester Evening News, 23 January 2011
  8. ^ "Father Figure: interviews with Jason Byrne and Pauline McLynn". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "EastEnders: Father Ted star Pauline Mclynn joins show as Yvonne Cotton". Digital Spy. Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Kellaway, Kate (8 May 2011). "Pauline McLynn: 'For Winnie the rule is: I talk therefore I am' – interview". The Guardian. 
  11. ^ World Vision | Who we are
  12. ^ Friends of Innisfree HA – Friends of Innisfree
  13. ^ "Aston Villa - Fans - Famous Fans - Famous Fans - Pauline McLynn". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  14. ^ "Past Winners 1996". Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Shared with Chloe Sirene, Paul McGann, Rula Lenska, Freddie Connor, Olegar Fedoro, Tamzin Dunstone, Barry Latchford, Tom Stuart

External links[edit]