agony uncle

John Byrne (Showbusiness Agony Uncle)

John Byrne is a writer, performer and broadcaster in his own right, as well as being agony uncle and career advisor to The Stage newspaper and BBC London 94.9radio’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 glamourous, 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 receives queries from all over the world.

As well as being an agony uncle, 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. Sometimes confused with John Byrne, the US based comics artist, this John Byrne's cartoons are more humorous in style and closer to Matt Groening's Simpsons in appearance. As such they are widely used in international educational publications since they do not tend to be culture specific. 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.

Among over 40 books for adults and children Byrne has written Writing Comedy (3rd Edition), A Singer’s Guide to Getting Work (with Julie Payne), The Little Book of Cool at School, Drawing Cartoons that Sell, A Dancer’s Guide to Getting Work (with Jenny Belingy) and The Bullybuster’s Joke Book.

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