Person details

Billy McGrath
Creative Director, SIDELINE

After a decade in the Irish music and comedy industries, Dublin born Billy McGrath trained as a TV producer / director with the national broadcaster RTE in 1985 and subsequently worked freelance on a wide range of programming in Ireland and the UK. As a writer and performer, Billy always had a huge interest in comedy, and in the early 1990s produced live shows with emerging stars like Jack Dee, Dylan Moran, Sean Hughes, Ardal O’Hanlon, Jo Brand, Lee Evans and Patrick Kielty.
After winning a European Script Award in ‘95, Billy moved to London/Kent, studied for a diploma in Sitcom Writing from the University of London, invited on the SOURCES screenwriting workshops and increasingly hired as script consultant and editor across a wide range of comedy and drama projects. A qualified teacher, Billy also lectured at West Kent College and for Screen Training Ireland designed courses for new sitcom writers (tutors included Father Ted / Black Books / IT Crowd’s Graham Linehan, The Fast Show’s Charlie Higson and Blackadder producer John Lloyd) plus wrote/hosted The Comedy Masterclass at the famed ARISTA story development workshops. Back home in Dublin 1998, Billy joined the new Irish commercial TV channel TV3 as exec producer programming and soon after was appointed RTE’s Commissioning Editor for Entertainment 2000 – 2002 overseeing the development and production of 500 TV hours per annum across two channels.
 After departing RTE, his first independent TV commission, ‘Close Encounters with Keith Barry’, was the biggest selling series for RTE International and nominated at the international Rose D’Or TV Festival as ‘best variety programme’ 2004.
Over the last few years Billy has contributed to Rose D’Or festival panels and juries – including TV Formats, Best Music and Best Arts Programme.