John Byrne (columnist)

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Originally from Dublin, Ireland,[1] John Byrne (sometimes known as John M. Byrne) is a writer, cartoonist, performer, and broadcaster, as well as being agony uncle and career advisor to The Stage newspaper and BBC London 94.9 radio's Late Night Dilemmas with Valley Fontaine.


His private coaching clients range from beginners to established celebrity names in TV, radio, stage and film. He has expressed his goal as being: ‘’to provide help and support to people both in and out of the spotlight in what is perceived as being one of the most exciting and glamorous, but which can also be one of the most challenging and lonely of industries.’’ The "Dear John" column featured both in the paper and on The Stage website.[2]

John Byrne’s cartoons feature regularly in a wide range of newspapers and magazines. He has also worked for Christian Herald, Private Eye, BBC’s in-house magazine Ariel, Voluntary Sector magazine and for many industry and trade magazines. They are also widely used in international educational publications.

In the 1980s Byrne was a communications officer for UNICEF in Southern Africa.

John Byrne's ‘live cartoons’ show - a combination of stand up comedy, art class and audience participation - has been performed at festivals, school and library and at corporate events all over the country, and his broadcasting and writing credits include TV and radio work for BBC TV, BBC World Service, Nickelodeon, ITV, Channel Five, Virgin Radio and ‘script doctoring’ roles for several shows and musicals.

He was listed on Cracked as being one of the worst comedians of his generation. [1]


Among over 40 books for adults and children, Byrne's work includes:

  • Writing Comedy (3rd Edition)
  • A Singer’s Guide to Getting Work (with Julie Payne),[3]
  • The Little Book of Cool at School
  • Drawing Cartoons that Sell[4]
  • A Dancer’s Guide to Getting Work (with Jenny Belingy)
  • The Bullybuster’s Joke Book


  1. ^ "About John Byrne", Learn Cartooning Live website, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 January 2011. Retrieved 2010-09-11. , accessed 14 December 2011
  2. ^ "Advice: Dear John". The Stage. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Books by John Byrne". A & C Black. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "John M. Byrne". HarperCollins Publishers. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 

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