If you haven’t heard of Jimmy Mulville, the co-founder and managing director of Hat Trick, you will have heard of his shows.
Have I Got News for You, Father Ted and Outnumbered are among the slew of hits the independent production company has made since Mulville co-founded Hat Trick with his future ex-wife Denise O’Donoghue and Rory McGrath in 1986.
Mulville forged his comedy career while at Cambridge, where he read French and Classics, and was president of Footlights, the drama club that boasts Hugh Laurie, Sue Perkins and Richard Ayoade among its alumni.
After graduating, Mulville worked in both production and performing, writing and performing on Channel 4’s Who Dares Wins before producing Alas Smith and Jones for the BBC.
It was after an appearance on the radio show Whose Line is it Anyway, that Mulville was inspired to bring the show to television, setting up Hat Trick with his then-girlfriend O’Donoghue and university friend McGrath.
Since the company’s inception, it has produced a flood of successes, including Facejacker, Critical and Room 101, and, according to the Guardian, Shas won more awards than any other non-BBC producer in the history of British broadcasting.T
Mulville, along with Avalon Entertainment founder Jon Thoday, is currently spearheading a campaign to stop the closure of BBC Three’s linear channel, calling the move a Sdisastrous stumble into oblivionT.