Sam Bain

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Sam Bain (born 3 August 1971)[1][2] is a British comedy writer, best known for the Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show. He attended St Paul's School in London before graduating from the University of Manchester, where he met his writing partner Jesse Armstrong.[3]


Collaborations with Jesse Armstrong[edit]

At the beginning of their writing career, Bain and Armstrong wrote for the Channel 4 sketch show Smack the Pony and the children's shows The Queen's Nose and My Parents Are Aliens.[4] They went on to create and write Peep Show, BBC One sitcom The Old Guys, and most recently Channel 4 comedy-dramas Fresh Meat and Babylon. They also wrote for the Radio Four sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Sound, starring Peep Show's two main actors David Mitchell and Robert Webb, and its BBC Two adaptation That Mitchell and Webb Look. Peep Show has won several writing awards,[5] including a BAFTA for Best Situation Comedy in 2008.[6]

To date, Bain and Armstrong have written two films together — the 2007 comedy Magicians, and, alongside Chris Morris, the 2010 terrorism satire Four Lions.

Bain and Armstrong received the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award at the British Comedy Awards 2010. In 2012 both Bain and Armstrong were featured on the TV industry journal Broadcast's 'Hot 100' list, highlighting the most successful people in UK television.[7]

In 2012 Bain and Armstrong wrote the Channel 4 comedy pilot Bad Sugar, a spoof of Dynasty-style soap operas, which starred Olivia Colman, Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan, all of whom also co-conceived the show.[8]

Other writing[edit]

Bain wrote the novel Yours Truly, Pierre Stone, which was published by IMP Fiction in 2002.

Bain provided additional material for episode one of the BBC Four political satire The Thick of It, and was the script editor for the second series of BBC2 sitcom Rev.

In 2017, the black comedy Ill Behaviour, his first television series written solo, screened on BBC2 and Showtime.[9][10]

In 2018, Bain was hired to write the spy action-comedy No Glory by Valparaiso Pictures & Gary Sanchez Productions. Kumail Nanjiani is attached to star.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Bain is married to actress/screenwriter Wendy Bain. He was educated at St Paul's School, where he was a classmate of future Chancellor George Osborne.[12] His father was TV director Bill Bain and his mother, Rosemary Frankau, co-starred in the sitcom Terry and June. Through his mother, Bain is related to a long line of noted British comedians and writers, including his grandfather Ronald Frankau, his grandmother Renee Roberts, his great-grandmother Julia Davis, and cousins Pamela Frankau and Nicholas Frankau.


  1. ^ "Samuel Christopher BAIN - Personal Appointments". Companies House. Retrieved 8 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Sam Bain on cinema". Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Interview: Fresh Meat writers Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong". The Sunday Telegraph. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  4. ^ "The secret of good comedy writing". The Independent. 6 November 2006. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  5. ^ Peep Show (British TV series)#Awards and honours
  6. ^ "Television Awards 2008". 26 April 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Benedict Cumberbatch, Reggie Yates make 'Broadcast' Hot 100 list". Digital Spy. 5 July 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Channel 4 commissions Bad Sugar by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong". 1 December 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  9. ^ Allen, Ben (20 August 2017). "BBC comedy Ill Behaviour has homeopathy, not cancer, in its crosshairs". Radio Times. Hubert Burda Media. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  10. ^ Bain, Sam (22 July 2017). "Kidnap and chemo! Why Peep Show's Sam Bain made cancer-com Ill Behaviour". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 26 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Kumail Nanjiani & Adam McKay Team For Spy Action Comedy 'No Glory' From Valparaiso Pictures & Gary Sanchez". Deadline.
  12. ^ "George Osborne: from the Bullingdon club to the heart of government". The Guardian. 1 October 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.

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