Ariane Sherine

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Ariane Sherine
Ariane Sherine at TAM London in 2009.
Ariane Sherine at TAM London in 2009.
Born (1980-07-03) 3 July 1980 (age 40)
London, England, United Kingdom
OccupationComedy writer, journalist

Ariane Sherine (born 3 July 1980) is a British musical stand-up comedian, comedy writer and journalist. She created the Atheist Bus Campaign, which ran in 13 countries during January 2009.


Sherine writes regularly for The Spectator,[1] The Guardian's Comment & Debate section,[2] and has also written for The Sunday Times,[3] The Independent,[4] Esquire magazine and New Humanist.

She was expelled from school aged 16, and spent her late teens hanging out with the band Duran Duran at their studio. She played piano on two tracks at the recording sessions for the Duran Duran album Pop Trash.[5]

She started in journalism aged 21, reviewing albums for NME,[6] before coming runner-up in the BBC Talent New Sitcom Writers' Award 2002.[7] She also did six months on the stand-up comedy circuit in 2003, reaching the Final of the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year.[8]

She then wrote comedy for British TV shows including the BBC sitcoms My Family[9] and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps,[10] and links for the Channel 4 quiz show Countdown after appearing on the show in 2003.[11] In addition, Sherine wrote episodes of several CBBC and CITV shows, including The Story of Tracy Beaker,[12] The New Worst Witch[13] and Space Pirates,[14] before returning to journalism in early 2008.

In 2010, Sherine suffered a major nervous breakdown which she attributed to being violently attacked by a boyfriend while pregnant in 2005, as well as having had a violent childhood. She was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder, paranoia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, for which she is on medication. As a result of her breakdown, she did not write for over three years.[15]

Sherine returned to writing for The Guardian at the end of 2013. In 2014, her comedy pop group The Lovely Electric released their debut album. Sherine wrote, performed and co-produced all the tracks.[16] The album received good reviews, and an average of 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon.[17]

In 2016, Sherine went back to the stand-up circuit. Her song Love Song for Jeremy Corbyn was featured in the London Evening Standard[18] Her weekly email Adventures of a Stand-Up Comic is serialised on the UK’s leading comedy website, Chortle.[19]


Sherine and Richard Dawkins at the Atheist Bus Campaign launch in London

Sherine started the Atheist Bus Campaign in response to an evangelical Christian bus advertisement which gave the URL of a website "telling non-Christians they would spend 'all eternity in torment in hell', burning in 'a lake of fire'".[20] She was brought up Christian, although her late father was a Unitarian Universalist,[21] while her mother's side of the family are Parsi Zoroastrians (both parents are non-practising).[22] In 2009, Sherine was nominated for Secularist of the Year 2009 (The Irwin Prize),[23] a title awarded by the National Secular Society.

In January 2009, Sherine gave a non-religious equivalent of Thought for the Day on Radio 4's iPM programme.[24][25] She spoke about accepting the beliefs of others as long as they are expressed peacefully, and how the freedom to hold them is more important than the beliefs themselves. Sherine's broadcast follows a similar one made by Richard Dawkins in 2002.[26] Thought for the Day continues to be reserved for religious speakers in its usual slot on Radio 4's Today Programme, on weekday mornings.

In late 2009, Sherine announced that she was ceasing atheist campaigning and returning to journalism and writing a novel.[27][28] She remains a distinguished supporter of Humanists UK.[29]


In October 2009 the first atheist charity book, The Atheist's Guide to Christmas was released, which Sherine had been editing for the prior six months. The full advance and royalties from the book were donated to the UK HIV charity, Terrence Higgins Trust.[30]

In October 2018, her self-help book Talk Yourself Better: A Confused Person's Guide to Therapy, Counselling and Self-Help was published by Robinson (Little, Brown) in the UK. It was featured in a double-page spread on Sherine in The Times and Sherine was a featured guest on BBC Radio 4's Loose Ends.

In April 2019, it was announced that she had signed [5] a further book deal with Robinson for two popular science titles - How To Live To 100, examining the evidence for the benefits of lifestyle changes on increased longevity; and Happier, exploring factors which affect personal happiness and wellbeing.


In December 2013, Sherine launched a new campaign in The Guardian called Give Just One Thing,[31] linked to a free e-book she had written called Give: How to Be Happy, available from the website The campaign encouraged people to do just one of ten practical actions to improve the world, from signing the Organ Donor register to organising a charity initiative. As part of the campaign, Sherine sold 50% of her possessions in aid of the humanitarian charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Sherine has a daughter.[33] She has written about her experiences with domestic abuse from a former boyfriend, and having an abortion.[34]


  1. ^ "Spectator author profile: Ariane Sherine". London: Spectator. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Ariane Sherine's Guardian profile". London: Guardian. 19 May 2008. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  3. ^ Ariane Sherine My Week Sunday Times 11 January 2008
  4. ^ The Independent The Trouble With Fairytales 19 September 2008
  5. ^ [1] Guardian article, 2 October 2014
  6. ^ Early NME review 31 May 2002
  7. ^ Ariane Sherine interview Archived 17 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine 1 June 2007
  8. ^ Chortle New Act Final review March 1, 2004
  9. ^ "Official Ariane Sherine website". Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  10. ^ Ariane Sherine Two Pints IMDB
  11. ^ "Ariane Sherine Countdown appearance, YouTube". 21 September 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  12. ^ Ariane Sherine Tracy Beaker IMDB
  13. ^ Ariane Sherine Worst Witch IMDB
  14. ^ Ariane Sherine IMDB
  15. ^ Guardian article breakdown 7 July 2014
  16. ^ The Lovely Electric Guardian article 20 October 2014
  17. ^ Music News album review 18 October 2014
  18. ^ Evening Standard Londoners’ Diary 19 February 2016
  19. ^ Ariane Sherine Chortle blog 4 April 2016
  20. ^ Atheist Bus Campaign launch article, 21 October 2008
  21. ^ Sherine, Ariane (25 February 2017). "Why I wish I hadn't blamed my father for all of my faults". The Guardian. The Guardian. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  22. ^ Ariane Sherine official website Atheist Bus Campaign page
  23. ^ Secularist of the Year 2009 Nominees 21 November 2008
  24. ^ BBC Radio 4's first Thought for the Afternoon, The Guardian 9 January 2009
  25. ^ First Humanist Thought For The Day, YouTube 10 January 2009
  26. ^ "Atheist gives Thought for the Day". BBC Radio 4. 14 August 2002. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2009.
  27. ^ The final phase of the atheist campaign, The Guardian 18 November 2009
  28. ^ "Twitter / ArianeSherine: Am disappearing again to finish". Retrieved 31 January 2013.
  29. ^ British Humanist Association Distinguished Supporters List Accessed 17 June 2010
  30. ^ Sherine, Ariane (1 October 2009). The Atheist's Guide to Christmas. Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-732261-9. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011.
  31. ^ [2] 3 December 2013
  32. ^ [3] 31 March 2014
  33. ^ [4] 31 March 2014
  34. ^ Guardian article breakdown 7 July 2014

External links[edit]