Renowned television comedy writer and producer Simon Carlyle has tragically passed away at the age of 48, according to his management. Known for his work on BBC One’s wildly successful Two Doors Down sitcom, Carlyle wrote more than 40 episodes alongside co-creator Gregor Sharp. The Scottish sitcom featured stars Arabella Weir and Alex Norton.
Carlyle had a long history of producing creative works that defied the norm, having also written Boy Meets Girl, Psychobitches, No Holds Bard, Happy Hollidays, and Thin Ice with Sharp over the course of 23 years.
His latest project was a collaboration with comedian Alan Carr on the autobiographical sitcom Changing Ends.
The world lost one of its great comedic minds in Simon Carlyle, who will be remembered by many for his razor sharp wit and unparalleled creative talent.
In a 2019 interview, Scottish actor and director Robert Carlyle shared the inspiring journey of his career. From struggling for success in mainstream avenues to finding redemption in BBC One Scotland’s Two Doors Down, Carlyle’s story encapsulates how life has its own paths and one can make a turnaround even when all hope seems lost.
The highly popular show drew network interest on BBC Two before ultimately making its way to primetime on BBC One. Drawing from his own experiences, the character Beth – played by Arabella Weir – was inspired by Carlyle’s mother, Dorothy. The character Jamie Quinn was based on Carlyle’s own gay coming out experience growing up in Ayr, Scotland. Talking about this particular plot line, he said “We tried to reflect the truth of that middle ground, the same as we did with a normal Scottish street.” He further elaborated on this concept saying that many parents in those days were accepting but not comfortable enough to ask their sons about their partners.
Carlyle’s tale serves as an example of how hope is never truly lost and how no matter what odds one faces, hard work and dedication can lead to deserved success.
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Simon Carlyle, the celebrated Scottish screenwriter best known for his hit sitcom Two Doors Down. The series, which centers around the lives of the residents of Latimer Crescent, was recommissioned for a seventh series in February and will air later this year. It will feature the return of fan favorite Doon Mackichan, who starred as Cathy in some of the earliest series.
The success of Two Doors Down has led to Carlyle’s other creations, including Changing Ends; a heartwarming reflection on Alan Carr’s childhood growing up in 1980s Northampton. TV critic Siobhan Synnot commented,”Simon and his writing partner Gregor Sharp reached incredible successes with Two Doors Down. He talked about himself growing up gay in Ayr and feeling a little bit different, and I think that comes through in a lot of the work.”
We mourn the death of a great artist and thank him for all his contributions to television and literature. Rest in peace Simon Carlyle.
BBC Scotland’s Head of Commissioning, Louise Thornton, expressed her profound sorrow when hearing the news about Simon Carlyle. “Simon was a major writing talent and widely adored for his work on Two Doors Down and many other series,” Thornton said.
Carlyle’s manager Amanda Davis spoke highly of his impact in the industry; “He was an amazing person and a crucial comedic figure,” she said. “He was exceptionally revered across the industry due to both the excellence of his writing and his kind heart, humor, support, and encouragement.”
Tragic news of his passing resonated in the media world; Jack Whitehall 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. RIP.” Carlyle’s death has left an entrance that can never be replaced.