John Doyle

Award winning comedian, screenwriter & actor

John Doyle is an actor, comedian and screenwriter, best known as ‘Rampaging Roy Slaven’ of Roy and HG fame (This Sporting Life, Club Buggery, The DreamThe Dream in Athens).

As a screenwriter, John’s credits include the acclaimed mini-series Changi and Marking Time, as well as the documentary series Two Men in a Tinnie and Two Men in the Top End (written with Michael Cordell), in which he sets out to explore the Australian outback with biologist Tim Flannery.

John Doyle’s first play, The Pig Iron People, played in a Sydney Theatre Company production in 2008.

About John Doyle:

Before creating the now iconic character “Rampaging” Roy Slaven for the ABC’s Triple J in 1985, John Doyle worked as a jobbing actor with various NSW and South Australian theatre companies.

Roy and his cohort HG Nelson have appeared continuously on This Sporting Life on radio since 1986, as well as creating television programs including Club Buggery, The Channel Nine Show, Win Roy and HG’s Money, The Dream, The Monday Dump, The Ice Dream, The Cream and The Memphis Trousers Half Hour for ABC TV.

Doyle himself hosted the weekly mid-afternoon shift on 702 ABC Sydney in the late 1980s and early 90s, earning a loyal following with his broad knowledge, versatility and superb interviewing skills, often probing and poking fun at the prevailing views and perceived wisdom of the day.

He took over many existing program segments and made them entirely his own, and his regular conversations with guests such as cooking expert Barbara Lowery, Sydney Opera House media liaison officer “Commodore” David Brown (whom he nicknamed “The Salty Sea Dog”), gardening expert Angus Stewart (nicknamed “The Doctor Of The Dirt”), pop music expert and “Sydney Morning Herald” journalist Bruce Elder (nicknamed “The Professor of Pop”) and Sydney Morning Herald TV Guide editor Tony Squires, became regular highlights of the show.

Over the last decade Doyle has developed a very successful parallel career as a writer of serious television drama. His first major effort as a TV dramatist was the highly acclaimed ABC-TV miniseries Changi, an adventurous exploration of the experiences of a group of young Australian soldiers interned in Changi POW camp during World War II. The series was partly inspired by Hogan’s Heroes and was originally conceived as a situation comedy; using the dramatic technique of magic realism, Doyle developed the script into a deeply moving yet often humorous examination of the experiences of young men at war and the effects it has on their later lives.

His drama series Marking Time, examined contemporary racial and cultural tensions in Australian society, seen through the prism of an Australian country town and focusing on the relationship between two teenagers – an Anglo Celtic Australian boy named Hal and a Muslim immigrant girl named Randa.

In 2006, Doyle appeared in Two Men In A Tinnie, a documentary of his own making involving a trip down the Murray-Darling river system of Australia with his longtime friend, biologist Dr Tim Flannery. The program focused on the degradation of the once mighty rivers and gave many different insights as to the causes. John and Tim reprised their collaboration in 2008 with Two in the Top End as they explore northern Australia.

In 2008, John Doyle’s play Pig Iron People was produced by Sydney Theatre Company at the Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre.

Doyle’s outstanding contribution to Australia’s cultural scene through radio, television and the theatre has been recognised by the granting of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Newcastle, eight Australian Writers Guild (AWGIE) awards for comedy, one for Best Original Mini-Series for Changi, one for Marking Time, numerous Logies for his television work and a 2004 AFI Award for Best Television Screenplay, again for Marking Time.

John Doyle is the Patron of Spectrum Australia (ASPECT).

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