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Facilitators of Mirth

Adam Kay


Adam Kay

Awards & competitions

Adam Kay

Appearances & credits

Adam Kay


Adam Kay is a writer, comedian, former Junior Doctor and author of the multi-award-winning This Is Going to Hurt. The book revisits his former career as a junior doctor, and has spent over a year at number one in the Sunday Times bestseller list. It was the bestselling non-fiction title of the decade, it is the bestselling non-fiction e-book of all time, and has sold over 2.5 million copies. This is Going to Hurt has been translated into 37 languages and achieved number one bestseller status internationally.

It is winner of a record four National Book Awards (Book of the Year, Non-Fiction Book of the Year, New Writer of the Year, Zoe Ball Book Club Book of the Year), Blackwell's Debut Book of the Year, Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year, iBooks Book of the Year, Esquire Book of the Year, Books Are My Bag Readers' Award and Books Are My Bag Non-Fiction Prize.

Adam's second book Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas was published by Picador in October 2019, taking a peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime. It was an instant Sunday Times number one bestseller, selling over 500,000 copies in under three months and making Adam the first author to have simultaneous number ones for hardback and paperback non-fiction titles.

Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, edited by Adam, was published by Trapeze in July 2020. It collected together stories from famous contributors, with all profits donated to NHS Charities Together and The Lullaby Trust and was an instant Sunday Times number one bestseller. It has raised over £400,000 for charity.

"Every single one of us owes so much to the NHS. It is our single greatest achievement as a nation, always there for us, and never more so than now. I have been blown away by the number of people who have been in touch to share their amazing stories. I hope that the book, and the money it raises for charity, will in some way manage to say thank you to the heroes who are putting our lives before their own every day"
– Adam Kay


Adam Kay’s first children's book, 'Kay's Anatomy', was published by Puffin in October 2020 - it was a Sunday Times number one bestseller, and became the fastest selling childrens' non-fiction book of the decade. His second book for children, 'Kay's Marvellous Medicine: A gross and gruesome history of the human body', was published in September 2021.

Adam has adapted This is Going to Hurt into a series for BBC Two, starring Ben Whishaw, all whilst touring the UK with his highly acclaimed stand up show. The adaptation of his multi-million bestselling memoir will be broadcast as a seven-part series, and will see Adam as a doctor who we find wending his way through the ranks of hospital hierarchy. The show will find him, “clinging to his personal life as he is increasingly overwhelmed by stresses at work: the 97-hour weeks, the life and death decisions, and all the while knowing the hospital parking meter is earning more than him.”

Adam started out life as a doctor, but after leaving his medical career, he swapped his white coat for a microphone. He first fronted the popular musical comedy act Amateur Transplants, whose iconic London Underground Song had over 10 million hits on iTunes, and lead to four number one albums in the iTunes comedy charts.

"sharp, snappy and brilliantly rude"
– ★★★★★ Cosmopolitan


"filthy at best, depraved at worst, and great guilty fun"
– ★★★★ Telegraph


Adam went on to become an extremely versatile, successful comedy writer and performer, whose work spans narrative and sketch for TV, stage and radio.

Adam writes extensively for the media, principally for the Sunday Times, where he is a columnist. He is also a hugely experienced television writer and script editor, with credits including Mitchell & Webb, Very British Problems, Mrs Brown's Boys, Crims (co-creator), Mongrels, Up The Women, Bounty Hunters and Child Genius. He also collaborates with a number of well-known comedy acts. He is also a commercials writer - copywriting, script editing and creating gag passes on numerous TV and radio commercials for brands such as Warburtons, Virgin, Anchor, Aegon, Walkers, Nationwide and Winner Bingo.

With sell-out comedy tours and sell-out Edinburgh Festival Fringe seasons, his cutting-edge, dark humour has gained him a cult following throughout the UK.

Adam’s solo show 'Fingering A Minor On the Piano' was his darkly humorous re-imaginings of modern day pop and rock classics, with a deeply confessional look back on his former life as an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Picador approached him about turning the show into a book, which detailed his experiences, and included it’s stark and deeply moving climax.

His first tome was born; 'This Is Going To Hurt - Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor’, which was published in 2017.

“Painfully funny. The pain and the funniness somehow add up to something entirely good, entirely noble and entirely loveable” – Stephen Fry


Scribbled in secret after endless days and sleepless nights, it provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn't – about life on and off the hospital ward. Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and where the hospital parking meter earns more than you. The memoir has been translated into 38 languages, and won numerous awards.

“Laugh out loud funny, and heartbreakingly sad” – Jonathan Ross


“Finally a true picture of the harrowing, hilarious and ultimately chaotic life of the junior doctor in all its gory glory, dark comedy.. a very, very funny book anchored by the day to day grind and catastrophe which constitutes the life of a medic in the modern NHS” – Jo Brand


“Hilarious and heartbreaking . . . I howled, yelped and occasionally choked with laughter . . . It’s an invigorating addition to the vogue for medical memoirs” – The Times


"a brilliant hour of comedy and song, with an unexpected punch in the heart"
– Graham Norton


‘This is Going to Hurt’ has also been adapted by Adam into a major new eight-part comedy-drama, commissioned by BBC Drama, produced by Sister Pictures and commissioned by Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, and Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, with Adam serving as executive producer.

He is an “electrifying" (Guardian) live performer, and his sell-out 2018/19/20 tour of This is Going to Hurt was one of the biggest comedy tours of the last three years, seen by in excess of 150,000 people, including performances at the Hammersmith Apollo.

Adam is a frequent voice on Radio 4 and on television, Adam is equally at home being sensible (Jonathan Ross, Newsnight, Peston on Sunday, The Big Questions) or less so (The Russell Howard Hour, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown)

"fast-paced, filthy and incredibly funny; you couldn’t ask more from the Fringe"
– ★★★★★ Three Weeks


In between sold out Tour dates, West End runs, new books and Edinburgh Festival Fringe seasons, Adam is in huge demand for corporate events, bringing his experiences to life as a Speaker, giving a humorous, inspiring, and fascinating performance. His wealth of experience makes him ideal for events – a comedian who is passionate and hugely knowledgeable about his subject matter, whilst unfailingly funny about it.

Adam has entertained at events such as Prince Harry's 30th birthday at Buckingham Palace, for Deloitte, The British Medical Association, Soho House, Imperial College, and hundreds more, entertaining with his cutting-edge humour, which has gained him a cult following throughout the UK.

Brilliant at tailoring his performance to the style and theme of an event, and skilled in assessing whether the set needs to be light hearted and comedy based, or whether there is an important message to get across, Adam is very astute at deciding how to pitch his performance. His material is again, extremely versatile, and can be clean, if preferred.

"Hilarious! Absolutely brilliant!"
– HRH Prince William


"Adam went down a storm at our awards ceremony. We have had such great feedback"
– Medical Journalists Association


"We have booked Adam for numerous corporate events, and I can’t think of an occasion where the client hasn’t raved about him afterwards. A true professional, uniquely funny, and always goes the extra mile in tailoring his performance to the specific event"
– Medium Rare Productions


"It was a really amazing day.. Adam was wonderful. Humble, heartfelt and inspiring"
– The Joyful Doctor


"provided a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon – I went away with a smile on my face, a spring in my step and a generally renewed sense of positivity.. inspiring and motivating"
– Essex Primary Headteachers Association


"an outstanding contribution.. The lecture was thoroughly enjoyed by over 300 attendees, and it was such an entertaining and engaging evening! It was an honour for us that Adam took the time to come to the RSM"
– Royal Society of Medicine


Adam can currently be seen performing his show 'This is Going to Hurt LIVE' across the UK, through to 2022. 


  • Winner - 'This is Going to Hurt' - Platinum Award for selling over 2 million copies - Nielsen Bestseller Awards - 2020
  • Winner - 'Twas the Nightshift before Christmas' - Gold Award for sales of over 500k in print and e-book - Nielsen Bestseller Awards - 2020
  • Winner - Book of the Year - Specsavers National Book Awards - 2018
  • Winner - Golden Pan Award (over 1 million copies sold) - PanMacmillan - 2019
  • Winner - Non-Fiction Book of the Year - National Book Awards - 2018
  • Winner - New Writer of the Year - National Book Awards - 2018
  • Winner - Book of the Year - Zoe Ball Book Club - 2018
  • Nominee - Book of the Year - Chortle - 2018
  • Nominee - Book of the Year - Independent Book Week - 2018
  • Book of the Year selection in The Times, Guardian, Spectator, Daily Express, Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday - 2018
  • Nominee - Best First Biography Prize - Slightly Foxed - 2018
  • Winner - Book of the Year - Esquire - 2018
  • Short listed - Best Biography - Esquire - 2018
  • Short listed - Adult - IBW Book Award - 2018
  • Short listed - Best First Biography Prize - Slightly Foxed - 2018
  • Short listed - Non-fiction Narrative Book of the Year - British Book Awards - 2018
  • Nominee - Best Comedy Book - Chortle Awards 2018
  • Nominee - Debut Book of the Year - Blackwells - 2017
  • Shortlist - Non Fiction Award - BAMB Readers Awards - 2017
  • Nominee - Childrens's Award - BAMB Readers Awards - 2017
  • Winner - Readers Choice Award - BAMB Readers Awards - 2017
  • Winner - Book of the Year - iBooks - 2017
  • Winner - Best Humour Book of the Year - The Sunday Times - 2017
  • Winner - London Cabaret Awards - 2014

Appearances & credits


  • Latitude Festival, Henley Festival, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Petworth Festival, and many, many more


  • Jonathan Ross Show - BBC Radio Two, 2017
  • BBC Radio Four, 2017
  • BBC Radio Five, 2017
  • The Now Show - recurring contributor

Television & film:

  • Pointless Celebrities - BBC1, 2020
  • The Jonathan Ross Show - ITV, 2019
  • This Morning - ITV, 2019
  • Lorraine - ITV, 2019
  • Sky news - Sky, 2018
  • Cats Does Countdown - Channel 4, 2018
  • Zoe Ball Book Club - ITV, 2018
  • BBC Breakfast - BBC1, 2017
  • The Russell Howard Hour - Sky One, 2017
  • The Culture Show - BBC2, 2016

Currently appearing at:

  • Festivals, Corporate and private events, Tour Shows, Book Tours

Writing credits

  • Kay's Marvellous Medicine - Puffin - Published 2021
  • Kay's Anatomy - Puffin - Published 2020 
  • Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You - Orion Publishing Group - Published 2020
  • Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas - PanMacmillan - 2019
  • Monthly columnist - The Sunday Times Magazine - 2019 to Present
  • This is Going to Hurt - PanMacmillan - 2017
  • Very British problems - Series Writer, Julie Walter's script - Alaska, 2016
  • Mrs Brown's Boys - Script Editor - BBC1, 2016
  • Our Ex Wife - Additional Writer - BBC2, 2016
  • Changing Channels - Writer - BBC3, 2016
  • Plebs - Writer - ITV2, 2015
  • Flat TV - Script Editor - BBC3, 2015
  • Very British Problems at Christmas - Writer, Julie Walter's script - Alaska, 2015
  • Chris (Simpsons Artist) - Writer - BBC3, 2015
  • Milton Jones Pilot - Script Editor - BBC Studios, 2015
  • Crims - Series Writer / Creator - BBC3, 2014
  • Mitchell & Webb - Additional Writer - Radio 4, 2014
  • Mongrels - Writer - BBC3, 2014
  • Up the Women - Writer - BBC4, 2014
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