Adam Richard Kay (born 12 June 1980) is a British comedy writer, author, comedian and former doctor. His television writing credits include Crims, Mrs. Brown's Boys and Mitchell and Webb. He is best known as author of the number-one bestselling book This Is Going to Hurt.
|Born||12 June 1980|
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
|Education||Dulwich College; Imperial College London|
|This is Going to Hurt (2017)|
Kay was born to Stewart and Naomi Kay and grew up in a Jewish household, with sister Sophie. With his father being a doctor, he describes becoming a doctor as being a default decision. The Kay family was from Poland, with the original family name being Strykowski.
Kay attended all-boys public school Dulwich College, graduating in 1997, and Imperial College London, where he read medicine and graduated in 2004. During his time at medical school, Kay started performing in medical school shows in 1998. While at medical school, he founded the musical comedy group Amateur Transplants and wrote for BBC Radio 4.
Kay worked as a doctor between 2004 to 2010, leaving the profession after a patient suffered an undiagnosed placental abruption; the expectant mother was subsequently taken to the intensive care unit, while the foetus was delivered stillborn. Kay worked for a number of years as an obstetrics and gynaecology trainee, writing textbooks on the subject, before leaving medicine for a career in writing.
Kay founded the Amateur Transplants. Their song "London Underground", which was set to the tune of "Going Underground" by The Jam, gained significant popularity on the internet in the UK in 2005.
Kay's first book, This is Going to Hurt, based on diaries from his former career as a doctor, was published by Picador in September 2017 and became an instant Sunday Times bestseller. The paperback edition was also an instant Sunday Times number one bestseller, a position it held for well over a year and selling over one million copies. It was the book of the year in the UK's 2018 National Book Awards.
The book was very well received by critics, including in the literary pages of The Times, Financial Times, Guardian, The Scotsman and The Daily Express. In addition to book of the year, it also won at the National Book Awards in the categories of Non-Fiction Book of the Year, New Writer of the Year and Book Club Book of the Year. It was also awarded Blackwell's Debut Book of the Year 2017, Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year, and won both non-fiction book of the year and the overall prize in the 2017 Books Are My Bag Readers' Awards. It was nominated for Non-Fiction book of the year in the 2018 British Book Awards, won Esquire Book of the Year and was a selection of the Zoe Ball Book Club. It has been translated into 28 languages, achieving number-one status internationally. It was the UK's second-best selling book of 2018.
Kay's second book, Twas the Nightshift before Christmas, was released in October 2019.
On 6 July 2018, the BBC announced that Kay would be adapting This Is Going to Hurt as an eight-part comedy-drama for BBC Two. It will be made by Sister Pictures and Kay will also be a co-executive producer. Each episode will be 45 minutes long. Kay is an established screenwriter, having written and co-created 2015 BBC Three sitcom series Crims - along with Grandma's House writer Dan Swimer. His other television work as a writer and script editor includes Mrs. Brown's Boys, Mongrels, Watson & Oliver, Up the Women, Very British Problems, Flat TV, Our Ex Wife, Who is America?, Mitchell and Webb and Child Genius.
In April 2020, it was announced that Trapeze would publish a collection of personal stories about the National Health Service (NHS) edited by Kay. Entitled Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, the book will include letters stars including Sir Paul McCartney, Louis Theroux, Caitlin Moran and Jameela Jamil.
Kay has sold out for six years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has also had sell-out nationwide UK tours. His 2018 tour of This is Going to Hurt sold out a season at the EICC, the largest venue of the Edinburgh Fringe and a week at the Garrick Theatre, before culminating in two shows at the Hammersmith Apollo. He performs regularly at music festivals including Latitude, and cultural events such as Cheltenham Literature Festival. Kay won Best Musical Variety Act at the 2014 London Cabaret Awards and has been named by the Evening Standard as one of London's most influential people.
He has performed songs on the topical BBC Radio 4 series The Now Show and has appeared on numerous TV shows, such as The Russell Howard Hour on Sky One, BBC Breakfast, Lorraine, Peston on Sunday and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
Kay is gay, and was voted in Pink News' top 50 most influential LGBT Twitter users. Kay attended Dulwich College before continuing his education at Imperial College School of Medicine. He lives in Oxfordshire, with his husband, Game of Thrones executive James Farrell, and their Airedale terrier, Pip.
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- "'London Underground' by Amateur Transplants". BBC h2g2. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
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- "Sunday Times Bestseller List". Sunday Times. 17 September 2017.
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- results, search (19 April 2018). This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor (Main Market ed.). Picador. ISBN 9781509858637.
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- Beckerman, Hannah (3 September 2017). "This Is Going To Hurt review: A timely, honest and moving memoir". Express.co.uk.
- Senkul, Ceren (22 November 2018). "'This Is Going To Hurt' author Adam Kay wins big at National Book Awards". Sky News (in British English). Retrieved 21 November 2018.
- Campbell, Lisa (20 November 2017). "Blackwell's reveals Book of the Year shortlist | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com.
- Rudd, Reviews by Matt (26 November 2017). "Books of the year: Humour". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
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- "Pan Macmillan nominated for 7 British Book Awards 2018". Pan Macmillan (in British English). Archived from the original on 26 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
- Nicholson, Tom (31 August 2018). "'This Is Going To Hurt' Is Esquire's Biography Of The Year". Esquire (in British English).
- Cowdrey, Katherine (17 May 2018). "Debuts dominate 'wide-ranging' Zoe Ball Book Club line up | The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com.
- "Adam Kay: This Is Going To Hurt". www.curtisbrown.co.uk. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- "This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay". This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- Dugdale, John (29 December 2018). "The 100 bestselling books of the year: from Eleanor Oliphant to Michelle Obama". The Guardian (in British English). ISSN 0261-3077.
- Page, Benedicte (1 November 2018). "New Adam Kay for Christmas 2019". The Bookseller.
- "BBC Two announces adaptation of bestseller This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay". BBC Media Centre. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
- BBC Press Office. "BBC Three announces new comedy commissions". 20 March 2014.
- Sturges, Fiona (8 July 2020). "Dear NHS, edited by Adam Kay – celebrities say thank you". The Guardian.
- Chortle Review. "Amateur Transplants: Adam Kay's Smutty Songs". 9 August 2011.
- Bound & Gagged Comedy Promoters. "Adam Kay Biography" Archived 4 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine. As of March 2013.
- "News: Apollo Gig For Adam Kay". Beyond The Joke. 30 September 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- Solutions, Powder Blue Internet Business. "Adam Kay adds a second Hammersmith Apollo show : Other news 2018 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". www.chortle.co.uk. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- Latitude Festival. "2012 Latitude Line-up, Adam Kay"[permanent dead link]. 13 July 2012.
- British Comedy Guide. "Edinburgh Fringe 2012, Adam Kay's Bum Notes". 1 August 2012
- London Cabaret Awards. "Best Musical Variety Act 2014" Archived 11 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine. 12 February 2014.
- "The Progress 1000: London's most influential people 2018 - Performance: Comedy". Evening Standard (in British English). Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- Now Show Homepage. "Series 45". 14 February 2015.
- "Adam Kay interview - The Russell Howard Hour (Series 1, Episode 2)". British Comedy Guide (in British English). Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- Lorraine (15 November 2017). "The Junior Doctor Who Became a Comedian | Lorraine". YouTube. Retrieved 20 November 2017.
- Peston on Sunday Official (20 October 2017). "Peston Compressed - Episode 47".
- "8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown - Episode Guide - All 4". www.channel4.com. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
- "Adam Kay Interview - Wyvern Theatre Swindon". swindontheatres.co.uk.
- "PinkNews.co.uk’s top 50 Twitter users influencing LGBT life in 2011", Pink News, 31 December 2011.
- "Walking the Dog with Emily Dean: Adam Kay - Returns!", 14 September 2021.