John Osborne

/ Screenplay Writer
/ Copywriter

We asked our screenplay expert – How did you end up crafting words?

When I was about seven years old I was watching Going Live, a Saturday morning children’s TV show, and they had Roald Dahl on as a guest, in his shed, and he talked about how in that shed he wrote Matilda and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and from that moment on all I ever wanted was a room I could escape to and write stories. I sometimes look around at the flat I live in now, where I have a big desk in a spare room, with a record player and bookshelves and realise I’ve pretty much recreated that shed.

I’ve written for TV, radio and I’ve written some books. I co-wrote a sitcom called After Hours with my friend Molly, which was broadcast on Sky in 2015. It starred Jaime Winstone, Ardal O’Hanlon and was directed by Craig Cash, who wrote The Royle Family. It was about two people who broadcast a radio show on a canal and it’s available to watch on NOW TV. I’ve written and performed six half hour stories for BBC Radio 4, and I’ve regularly performed at festivals including Glastonbury, Latitude and the Edinburgh fringe.

I’ve written three books myself, and have recently seen the publication of the first book I’ve ghost-written, published at the start of 2021, and am currently working on a new book of my own as well as collaborating on books with other people.. I really enjoy telling peoples stories. 

Other interests:

I’ve always liked a few beers in a pub, music gigs and going to the football.

Proudest Moment:

I remember getting the phone-call to say my first book (Radio Head, up and down the dial of British radio) was going to be BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week. There are lots of things I’ve done that I’m proud of, but having that Radio 4 logo next to my work was something I could show to my parents. I worked so hard on that book, and having the recognition of such a prestigious radio station still makes me proud now. I’ve actually never listened to the last episode of my week of being Book of the Week, because I feel like I want to have it in reserve for sometime it might be useful in the future. It’s still on a USB stick in my drawer.

One Interesting Fact:

I’ve met Zoe Ball.

Biggest Achievement:

The first time I did a full run at the Edinburgh Festival was with my friend Paddy. It was 2008, our venue was a room in a nightclub at 3 o’clock every day. It rained every day and Paddy and I had to share a double bed in his uncle and auntie’s house two bus rides away from Edinburgh and neither of us had any money. Sometimes we had three or four people in our audience. It was so hard, but it was the most fun I’ve had, and was such hard work. Occasionally I’d think why have we come up here, but then sometimes I’d look around and think ‘I’m doing a show at the biggest arts festival in the world,’ and that’s something I’ll always be incredibly proud of. I’ve been up to the Fringe every year since.

Unfulfilled Dream:

I like big hills. I’d like to climb them more.