Sharon Horgan

Sharon Lorencia Horgan (born 13 July 1970)[1] is an Irish actress, writer, comedian and producer. She is best known for the comedy series Pulling (2006–2009) and Catastrophe (2015–2019), both of which she starred in and co-wrote. She also created the HBO comedy series Divorce (2016–2019).

Sharon Horgan
Sharon Horgan, Trending Report (cropped).jpg
Sharon Horgan in 2015
Sharon Lorencia Horgan

(1970-07-13) 13 July 1970 (age 50)
Hackney, London, England
OccupationActress, writer, comedian, producer
Years active2001–present
Spouse(s)Jeremy Rainbird (m. 2005; div. 2019)
RelativesShane Horgan (brother)

Horgan won the 2008 British Comedy Award for Best TV Actress for Pulling, while the show's 2009 hour-long final episode won the British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Drama. A seven-time BAFTA TV Award nominee, she won the 2016 BAFTA TV Award for Best Comedy Writer for Catastrophe (with Rob Delaney), and was nominated for the 2016 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Horgan has also won five Irish Film and Television Awards in both acting and writing for her work on Catastrophe.

Horgan has appeared in the films Valiant (2005), Imagine Me & You (2005), Man Up (2015), and Game Night (2018).

Early lifeEdit

Horgan was born in Hackney, London, England.[2] Her mother, Ursula (née Campbell), is Irish, from County Kildare, and whose parents before her originated from Midfield, County Mayo.[citation needed] Her father, John Horgan, is from New Zealand,[3] and ran a pub. When she was four years old, Horgan's parents moved the family to Bellewstown, County Meath in Ireland, to run a turkey farm.[2][3][4][5]

One of five siblings,[2] in interviews Horgan has described her childhood as happy. She has also spoken fondly of growing up on the farm, where she helped with plucking the turkeys: “you pluck down, not up”, she once told an interviewer. Horgan later used her childhood experiences for the semi-autobiographical short film The Week Before Christmas for Sky Arts 1.[6] Horgan went to the Sacred Heart convent school in Drogheda, which she described in an interview with The Observer in December 2012 as an unhappy experience. “I didn't enjoy it at all”, she said.[6]


Early careerEdit

In her early twenties, Horgan moved back to London and attended various drama courses. As a young actress struggling to make ends meet she took a series of odd-jobs, including working in call centres and waitressing. For nearly two years she earned a living in a head shop in Camden, London.[6] At the age of 27, Horgan started a degree in English and American Studies at Brunel University in west London, graduating in 2000.[7] Around that time, Horgan met British writer Dennis Kelly, while they were both working in youth theatre, and they started writing together, producing material they then sent to the BBC, for which they won the BBC New Comedy Award in 2001[8] for Sketch Writing and Performance.[2][6][9]


Horgan has appeared on stage, television and screen. Her first credited appearances on television were in The State We're In (2002) and Monkey Dust (2003), two sketch shows based on news and current affairs. She also contributed material to Monkey Dust. Her first named acting role on television was as Theresa O'Leary in Absolute Power (2003), a comedy set in the world of public relations and starring Stephen Fry. In 2005 she made her big-screen debut as Beth in Imagine Me & You, a British-American romantic comedy directed by Ol Parker.

Horgan made a brief appearance in BBC's Extras before appearing as a guest booker in two series of Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive (2006–07), also on the BBC, a spoof comedy set behind the scenes of a chat show presented by Rob Brydon.[9] She won a British Comedy Award in 2007[10] for Best Female Newcomer for her performance.

In 2010 Horgan appeared in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. The US/UK comedy series was written by David Cross, who also appeared as the title anti-hero, an incompetent American who takes a job leading the London sales team for an energy drink. Horgan played Alice Bell, the café owner on whom he developed a crush.

In September 2011 Horgan appeared in the world premiere of Saul Rubinek's play Terrible Advice at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London. The play set in Los Angeles and she played Delila, one half of its two warring couples.[11]

In June 2012 Horgan was part of the ensemble cast for the pilot episode of Psychobitches,[12] shown as part of Sky Arts 1's Playhouse Presents strand. In the sketch show, famous women from history are psychoanalysed by Rebecca Front's therapist; Horgan played the novelist Jane Austen in the pilot, and later characters included Eva Peron, Cleopatra, Boudicca and Carmen Miranda. Two series of Psychobitches followed; the first was shown in May 2013, and the second in November 2014. Horgan played a supporting role in the 2018 dark comedy film Game Night as Sarah, a newcomer to the group of friends unwittingly roped into the game.

Also, Horgan has voiced characters in the film Valiant (2005),[13] CBBC's Big Babies (2010) and the short film Miss Remarkable & Her Career (2010). She has made guest appearances in series including Moone Boy (2015), Crackanory and on panel shows including So Wrong It's Right and We Need Answers. In May 2015, she appeared as Elaine in Man Up, a romantic comedy written by Tess Morris, starring Simon Pegg and directed by Ben Palmer.[14] In 2017, Horgan provided the voices of Minerva Campbell (the long-lost mother of the protagonist, Finn the Human) in the Cartoon Network animated series Adventure Time,[15] and Courtney Portnoy in the animated series Bojack Horseman. In 2018, she voiced Queen Dagmar in the animated series Disenchantment[16] and also Kathleen in 2019 for the animated series Bob's Burgers.[16]

Horgan and Aisling Bea star in and executive produced Channel 4 comedy-drama series This Way Up.


Horgan's career breakthrough was Pulling, which she co-wrote with Dennis Kelly and starred in. She played Donna, an irresponsible marketing manager who calls off her wedding at the last minute, and one of three women sharing a flat in Penge, south London. It was noted for its broad humour about sex and the consumption of alcohol. Pulling was first shown on BBC Three in 2006, then repeated on BBC Two in 2008. The six-episode series became a ‘sleeper hit’, which gained iconic status with fans and was lauded by critics.[17] A second series of six episodes ran March–April 2008 on BBC Three.[18]

Despite good ratings and critical plaudits, Pulling was cancelled after two series,[19] although an hour-long final episode was broadcast in May 2009. In 2007, the show was nominated for a British Academy Television Award and Horgan was nominated for a British Comedy Award. In 2008 she won a British Comedy Award for Pulling. In 2009 she was nominated for a British Academy Television Award and the show won a British Comedy Award.[20]

In 2007 Horgan wrote Angelo's[21] directed by Chloe Thomas. Horgan starred as Karen, a police officer. The sitcom was set in a café near Trafalgar Square in London. It ran for one series on Channel 5.[21]

In June 2012 Horgan starred in Dead Boss,[22] a sitcom set in a prison, which she wrote with comic Holly Walsh. In it she played Helen,[23] a woman wrongly imprisoned for killing her boss, and starred Jennifer Saunders. It was well received by critics and ran for one six-part series on BBC Three in June–July 2012.

In 2013 Horgan starred in and co-wrote Bad Management with Holly Walsh, their second project together, and Horgan was the self-centred and demanding boss of an upmarket store in Los Angeles. ABC commissioned the pilot episode, which was not aired. But it was released online in December 2013.[24]

From 2015-2019, she co-starred and co-wrote the sitcom Catastrophe with American comic Rob Delaney.[25] The two first met on Twitter, and because they made each other laugh decided to work together. They have both said Catastrophe was broadly based on their own personal experiences.[26] In it she played Sharon, an Irishwoman living in London who becomes pregnant by Rob, an American she meets while he is on a business trip to London. Carrie Fisher played his mother. It was an instant critical success[27] and after the second episode of the six-part series was aired Channel 4 announced it had commissioned a second series. Horgan was nominated for a Best Female Comedy Performance BAFTA for her role.[28] in 2016, Channel 4, ordered a third and fourth season.[29]

Horgan wrote Divorce,[30][25] a US comedy series starring Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays a New York woman going through a lengthy divorce. In April 2015, HBO announced it had picked up the series after the pilot episode, and the show is Parker's first major acting commitment since Sex and the City. She was also an executive producer.[30]


In December 2012 Horgan made her directorial debut with the semi-autobiographical film The Week Before Christmas, which was broadcast as part of the Little Crackers[6] series of short films on Sky 1. It was set on a turkey farm in Ireland, and in it she played her own mother, while her father was played by actor Conleth Hill. In September 2013, it was announced that Horgan was attached to the film Meet Me in Ten Years, a futuristic comedy written by Frances Poletti.[31]


In February 2005 Horgan co-presented the first series of The Friday Night Project (later The Sunday Night Project), a comedy variety show on Channel 4. Her co-presenters in the eight-week series were Jimmy Carr, Rob Rouse, and Lucy Montgomery. On 3 June 2011, Horgan was the guest host of Have I Got News for You on BBC1. A scripted joke about Mecca and suicide bombers brought some complaints from Muslims; Horgan defended the show as “political satire”, but apologised for any offence caused.[32]

Horgan has presented a series of documentaries for Channel 4. In January 2012, in How to Be a Good Mother[33] she talked to several families about their approach to child-rearing. In January 2013 in Secrets of a Good Marriage[34] she discovered how various couples make their relationships work; and in On the Verge of a Midlife Crisis,[35] she spoke to six women who had coped with the experience.

Horgan appeared on the BBC Radio 4 show Chain Reaction in March and April 2015. One week she was interviewed by Olivia Colman and the following week she interviewed Dennis Kelly.[5]

Merman (production company)Edit

In 2014 Horgan established Merman, an independent production company, with Celia Mountford, who produced A Young Doctor's Notebook, Mr. Sloane, and Cockroaches. Horgan is creative director of Merman and Mountford managing director. The two women met while working on The Week Before Christmas. Horgan's husband, Jeremy Rainbird, also works for the company. Merman is co-producing Divorce,[30] an American comedy series starring Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays a New York woman going through a lengthy divorce. In April 2015 HBO announced it had picked up the series after the pilot episode. Horgan has also written the series. Shooting begins in New York in late 2015. She is developing U.S. versions of Pulling and Dead Boss for Merman.[30]

In October 2014 IFC announced[36] that Merman is producing the third series of The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, which will be aired in late 2015. Merman also co-produces Catastrophe.[29]

Personal lifeEdit

Horgan married businessman Jeremy Rainbird on 16 October 2005 at Chelsea Register Office, London.[9] The couple lived in Victoria Park Hackney, London,[2] with their two daughters .[3] They divorced in 2019.[37]

Horgan's younger brother Shane is a former international rugby union player who played wing or centre for Leinster and Ireland, and is now a rugby analyst for RTÉ Sports.[38] Her other younger brother is Mark Horgan.[4] She is also a second cousin of retired jockey Leighton Aspell and his brother Paddy.



Year Title Role Notes
2005 Imagine Me & You Beth
Valiant Charles De Girl Voice role
2010 Miss Remarkable & Her Career Miss Remarkable Short Film
Voice Only (English Language Version)
2011 Death of a Superhero Renata Clarke
2012 The Week Before Christmas Sharon's Mum TV
Also Writer/Director
2013 Run & Jump Tara
2015 Man Up Elaine
2018 Game Night Sarah Darcy
2019 Military Wives Lisa
How to Build a Girl Jo March
2020 Dating Amber Hannah
2021 Everybody's Talking About Jamie Miss Hedge Post-production
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Filming


Year Title Role Notes
2002 The State We're In (unnamed)
2003 Monkey Dust (unnamed)
2003 Absolute Power Theresa O'Leary
2005 The Friday Night Project Herself Co-presented.
2006-2007 Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive 'Guest Booker' 2 series.
2006-2009 Pulling Donna 2 series. Co-wrote.
2007 Angelo's Karen Wrote.
2010 The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret Alice Bell
2010 Big Babies Carole Voice.
2010 We Need Answers Herself Guest appearance.
2011 Have I Got News For You Herself Guest host.
2012 How To Be A Good Mother Herself Presented.
2012-2014 Psychobitches Including:

Jane Ausen

Eva Peron



Carmen Miranda

2012 Dead Boss Helen Co-wrote.
2013 Crackanory 'The Translator'
2013 Bad Management Eve Co-wrote. Unaired pilot for ABC, later released online.
2013 Secrets of a Good Marriage Herself Presented.
2013 Verge of a Midlife Crisis Herself Presented.
2015 Moone Boy Guest appearance.
2015-2019 Catastrophe Sharon Co-wrote.
2016-2019 Divorce Creator.
2017 Adventure Time Minerva Campbell Voice.
2017 Bojack Horseman Courtney Portnoy Voice.
2018 Women on the Verge Dr. Fitzgerald 6 epdisodes.
2018-2021 Disenchantment Queen Dagmar Voice.
2019 Bob's Burgers Kathleen Voice.
2019 This Way Up Shona
2020 Criminal: UK Danielle Dunne


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Chain Reaction Herself 2 episodes. BBC Radio 4.


Year Title Role Notes
2011 Terrible Advice Delila

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • 2001 — BBC New Comedy Award for Sketch Writing and Performance (won)
  • 2007 — BAFTA TV Award for Best Situation ComedyPulling (nominated)[39]
  • 2007 — British Comedy Award for Best Female Newcomer — Rob Brydon's Annually Retentive/Pulling (nominated)[40]
  • 2008 — British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actress — Pulling (won)[40]
  • 2009 — British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Drama — Pulling: Special (won)[40]
  • 2009 — BAFTA TV Award for Best Comedy PerformancePulling (nominated)[41]
  • 2013 — International 3D Award for International Jury Prize — The Week Before Christmas (won)
  • 2015 — TV Choice Award for Best Comedy — Catastrophe (nominated)
  • 2015 — Edinburgh Television Award for Best New Programme — Catastrophe (nominated)
  • 2015 — IFTA Award for Best Female Performance in Soap or Comedy — Catastrophe(won)[40]
  • 2015 — IFTA Award for Best Writer in a Soap or Comedy — Catastrophe(won)[40]
  • 2016 — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy SeriesCatastrophe (nominated)[40]
  • 2016 — BAFTA TV Craft Award for Best Writer: Comedy — Catastrophe(won)[42]
  • 2016 — BAFTA TV Award for Best Female Comedy PerformanceCatastrophe (nominated)[43]
  • 2016 — IFTA Award for Best Lead Actress (Television) — Catastrophe(won)[40]
  • 2016 — IFTA Award for Best Writer in a Soap or Comedy — Catastrophe(won)[40]
  • 2018 — BAFTA TV Award for Best Female Comedy Performance — Catastrophe (nominated)[44]
  • 2018 — BAFTA TV Award for Best Scripted ComedyCatastrophe (nominated)[45]
  • 2018 — BAFTA TV Craft Award for Best Writer: Comedy — Catastrophe (nominated)[46]
  • 2018 — IFTA Award for Best Female Performance in Soap or Comedy — Catastrophe(won)[40]
  • 2018 — IFTA Award for Best Writer in a Soap or Comedy — Catastrophe — (nominated)[40]
  • 2019 — AACTA Award for Best Television Comedy SeriesFrayed (nominated)[40]
  • 2020 — BAFTA TV Award for Best Scripted Comedy — Catastrophe (nominated)[47]


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  3. ^ a b c "Sharon Horgan: comedian with a keen eye and a sharp tongue". The Observer. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
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  5. ^ a b "The week in radio: The Media Show; Chain Reaction". The Observer. 22 March 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
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  14. ^ Ross, Deborah (30 May 2015). "Man Up review: a film that treats female singledom as if it were cancer". The Spectator. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  15. ^ Grebey, James (2 February 2017). "Finn Finally Meets His Mom, Minerva, on 'Adventure Time: Islands'". Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Sharon Horgan". IMDb.
  17. ^ Gareth McLean (15 May 2009). "A Paean to Pulling". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Pulling Series 2". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  19. ^ Andrew Williams (13 December 2011). "Bored of Talking about Pulling Getting Cancelled". Metro. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
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  21. ^ a b British Comedy Guide (2007). "About 'Angelo's". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  22. ^ Terry Ramsey (15 June 2012). "Dead Boss Review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  23. ^ Serena Davies (14 June 2012). "Dead Boss Review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  24. ^ Staff (12 December 2013). "Bad Management Pilot". Variety. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  25. ^ a b "Sharon Horgan profile". An Irishman Abroad (Podcast) (156 ed.). SoundCloud. 10 September 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  26. ^ Toby Earle (19 January 2015). "Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan Talk Bunk-ups and Arranged Marriages". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  27. ^ Toby Earle (20 February 2015). "Grace Dent on TV". The Independent. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  28. ^ "2016 BAFTA Television Awards Female Performance in a Comedy Programme". BAFTA. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  29. ^ a b "Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney reunite for Catastrophe 3 and 4" (Press release). Channel 4. 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  30. ^ a b c d Nellie Andreeva (16 April 2015). "'Divorce' picked up by HBO". Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  31. ^ Staff (9 September 2013). "Sharon Horgan to Direct First Film". Chortle. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  32. ^ Catriona Wightman (6 June 2011). "Sharon Horgan Defends 'HIGNFY' Mecca Joke". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  33. ^ Sam Wollaston (11 January 2012). "'How to be a Good Mother' Review". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  34. ^ Ben Bryant (3 January 2013). "'Secrets of a Good Marriage' Review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  35. ^ Channel 4 (17 December 2012). "'On the Verge of a Midlife Crisis' Programme information". Channel 4. Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  36. ^ Jon Creamer (8 October 2014). "Merman to make Series 3 of 'Todd Margaret'". Retrieved 24 May 2015.
  37. ^ Lewis, Tim (23 February 2020). "Sharon Horgan: 'I want adventures. I want to do stuff that's challenging'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  38. ^ Cormac Murphy (25 March 2009). "Rugby star Shane's big sister Sharon tries for Bafta success". Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  39. ^ "BAFTA Award nominations for Situation Comedy in 2007". Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k " list of awards and nominations for Sharon Horgan". Retrieved 28 August 2020.
  41. ^ "BAFTA Award nominations for Comedy Performance in 2009". Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  42. ^ "BAFTA TC Craft Award nominations for Writer - Comedy in 2016". Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  43. ^ "Female Performance In A Comedy Programme in 2016". Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  44. ^ "BAFTA Award nominations for Female Performance in a Comedy Programme in 2018". Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  45. ^ "BAFTA Award nominations for Scripted Comedy in 2018". Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  46. ^ "BAFTA TC Craft Award nominations for Writer - Comedy in 2018". Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  47. ^ "BAFTA Award nominations for Scripted Comedy in 2020". Retrieved 16 August 2020.

External linksEdit