UK

Comedian Jack Whitehall leads tributes to Two Doors Down creator Simon Carlyle

Tributes have been paid to Two Doors Down creator Simon Carlyle, who has died aged 48 (Dane Thomson/PA)
Tributes have been paid to Two Doors Down creator Simon Carlyle, who has died aged 48 (Dane Thomson/PA) Tributes have been paid to Two Doors Down creator Simon Carlyle, who has died aged 48 (Dane Thomson/PA)

Comedian Jack Whitehall has remembered Two Doors Down creator Simon Carlyle as a “talented and gracious human being” following his death at the age of 48.

The TV writer’s death was confirmed by his manager, Amanda Davis, who said Carlyle was known for being a “supportive and nurturing collaborator”, as well as describing him as a “wonderful person and a major comedic talent”.

Carlyle co-created and wrote Scottish sitcom Two Doors Down with Gregor Sharp.

The show is set around the residents of Latimer Crescent and stars Arabella Weir, Kieran Hodgson, Alex Norton, Doon Mackichan and Jonathan Watson. It was recommissioned for a seventh series in February.

On Thursday, 35-year-old Whitehall, who first found fame in TV series such as Bad Education and Fresh Meat, shared his condolences following news of Carlyle’s death.

He tweeted: “So sad to wake up to this news. Simon was such a talented and gracious human being.

“He was my first ever script editor and I learned so much from him.

“He was so funny and charming and always such a joy to spend time with.”

Meanwhile, self-professed “superfan” fan Dane Thomson, who met Carlyle at Comic Con in Aberdeen this year, described him as a “sharp, funny and such a kind soul” with “genius comedy writing”, adding that he was “heartbroken” over the news.

He told the PA news agency: “I was lucky enough to meet Simon earlier this year at Comic Con Aberdeen after tweeting him for years as one (of many!) Two Doors Down ‘superfans’.

“When I met him in person he was so warm and kind and we had such a laugh.

“Before I left the event, he gave me the biggest hug. I’ve jokingly said to my friends that ‘Simon’s hugs need to be prescribed on the NHS’. I still mean that.

“Not only was he a fantastic writer, he was the loveliest person in person. His Cathy and Christine impressions literally ended me that day. RIP Simon. Sleep tight.”

National Comedy Awards 2023 – London
National Comedy Awards 2023 – London Doon Mackichan plays Cathy in Two Doors Down (Ian West/PA)

In Two Doors Down, Mackichan plays Cathy, a big-time party girl trapped in a small-time setting, alongside Elaine C Smith in the role of life-long hypochondriac Christine O’Neil.

Carlyle also wrote for Changing Ends, an ITV comedy series about Alan Carr growing up in the 1980s, and BBC LGBT+ show Boy Meets Girl.

Jon Petrie, director of comedy commissioning at the BBC, said: “We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of our friend and colleague Simon Carlyle.

“Simon was a wonderful comedy talent who, amongst many other credits, co-created and wrote the multi-award-winning series Two Doors Down.

“His warm comic voice shone through these characters, garnering huge audience affection, and firmly establishing it as a long-lasting sitcom favourite.

“Our sympathies are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Louise Thornton, head of commissioning at BBC Scotland, said: “All of us at BBC Scotland are deeply saddened to hear this news.

“Simon was a major writing talent, loved for his work on Two Doors Down and many other series. Our thoughts are with Simon’s family and friends, and the cast and crew on Two Doors Down.”

The sitcom’s production team said: “We are deeply saddened by this terrible news. Simon was a brilliant, funny, mercurial and magnificent human being.

“He had a microscopic fascination with what makes funny things funnier and we were so lucky to have known him.

“He was at the centre of all the work we made together and his loss will be felt profoundly by all of us. We send love and support to his family and friends.”

– Two Doors Down is set to move to BBC One for the next six episodes of the new series.