Sean Hughes

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Sean Hughes (born John Hughes; 10 November 1965 – 16 October 2017) was an English-born Irish stand-up comedian, writer and actor.


Hughes was born in London, but spent most of his youth in Firhouse, Dublin. He attended Coláiste Éanna in Ballyroan. In 1987 he began appearing at the Comedy Store, and with his show, A One Night Stand With Sean Hughes he won the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award.

He marked his 30th birthday with the Sean Hughes is Thirty Somehow tour, which was broadcast on Channel 4, in 1995. Hughes returned to stand-up, touring the UK and Australia in 2007 with his show, The Right Side of Wrong.

As well as comedy, he has also written collections of prose and poetry and worked on a number of films. He also presented weekend radio shows on the BBC's London radio station BBC GLR, and in 2002 joined BBC 6 Music, presenting the Sunday morning programme. He left the station a year after its launch, proclaiming it had turned into everything he had wanted it to be. He has also written two novels, The Detainees (1998) and It's What He Would Have Wanted (2000).

It has been reported that Hughes was a close friend of the late American comedian Bill Hicks, but Hughes has stated this is untrue and that he knew Hicks only slightly. Hughes wrote the foreword to Cynthia True's biography, American Scream. The Bill Hicks Story. Hughes wrote about Hicks, "being a genius is a heavy burden and he's the only one I'm ever likely to meet. I still miss you Bill."


It was announced on 16 October, 2017 that Sean Hughes had died, after suffering from cirrhosis of the liver,aged 51.

Film and television

Hughes had a small role in the 1991 film The Commitments, playing a record producer. In 1992 he had his own TV show, Sean's Show, ostensibly set in his own home. It received a nomination for the 1992 British Comedy Award for Best Channel 4 Sitcom. Series one of Sean's Show has been released on DVD by Channel 4. He later recorded a series of brief programmes called Sean's Shorts, in which he toured England, visiting many of the country's towns and cities, visiting local places of interest and meeting local people. He appeared in the film Snakes and ladders shot in Dublin, and released in 1996.

From 1996 to 2002 he was a team captain on the BBC 2 comedy quiz show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, alongside Phill Jupitus and Mark Lamarr. He can be seen during Terrorvision's music video for their single Tequila from 1999 and in the video for The Cure's 1996 single, The Thirteenth. He appeared in the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe.

In ITV's series The Last Detective, featuring "Dangerous" Davies, Hughes plays his friend, the perpetually unemployed and well-read "Mod Lewis" (he spends all his time at the library to save on heating). He played Eileen Grimshaw's love interest Pat in the British soap Coronation Street.

Hughes voices the part of Finbar the Shark, one of a number of plastic bath toys which come to life when no-one is watching in the children's TV series Rubbadubbers, shown on the BBC's CBeebies channel in the UK for pre-school children.

He played Sergeant Lake in the ITV Agatha Christie's Marple production of They Do It with Mirrors, which was broadcast on 1 January 2010.

Hughes played "Brendan" in the 2010 British film version of Tony Hawks' best selling book, Round Ireland with a Fridget hat was released in September 2010 and on DVD on 8 November 2010. He also played the lead in the film adaptation of Spike Milligan's comic novel, Puckoon. Hughes also voices Tapir in the three Robbie the Reindeer films. He appeared in Casualty in 2015.


In November 2013, Hughes started a podcast called "Under The Radar with DogsInTheField Productions" / Acast.


Hughes took over the role of stationmaster Mr Perks in the musical The Railway Children at King's Cross Theatre in March 2015


Mumbo Jumbo



Life Becomes Noises

Ducks... and Other Mistakes I've Made

What I Meant To Say Was...

The Right Side Of Wrong

Live... And Seriously Funny

A One Night Stand With Sean Hughes


  • Sean's Book
  • The Grey Area
  • The Detainees
  • It's What He Would Have Wanted
  • My Struggle To Be Decent


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