City Lit Blog

A Q&A with Alan Nixon

Story added 15th Feb 2019

BBC Audio Drama Awards 2016- l to r: Alan Nixon, Ed Rowett, Annette Badland, Rob Grant, Pete Baikie

City Lit tutor, Alan Nixon is not only an experienced educator; he is also a successful entrepreneur. We recently caught up him to find out more about his background in comedy screenwriting and how he uses his experience to inspire his students.


What course(s) do you teach at City Lit? 

Over the last few years at City Lit, I have taught on a number of different courses. This includes the Comedy sketches: writing and performing for TV, Comedy sketches: writing and performing for TV and radio and also Developing your screenwriting courses.


Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself, what do you currently do?

I currently work as a freelance comedy producer and I have my own company called Snipper Nixon. We produce a variety of different podcasts as well as comedy and drama projects for stage, radio, and television.

Prior to that, I had a range of different roles, from local presenter (free seat at Old Trafford) at BBC Radio Manchester to Network Television Controller for Channel 5, where I worked with both Melinda Messenger and Suggs!

I also lecture in Sit-Com and Creative Comedy at the National Film and Television School (NFTS). 


What are some of your successes/ proudest/ funniest moments in the business?

I would definitely say that microwaving a cat in the name of comedy for Hale & Pace, (not for real!) then appearing on the front page of the papers and winning the Golden Rose of Montreux for that show was definitely a huge highlight in my career.  This wasn’t my first controversial show.  I actually led a production team to the High Court to defend a libel – we won!. 

I am also extremely thankful to have been part of the early ‘Alternative Cabaret Circuit’ and stumbling on future talents like Julian Clary, Jo Brand, Alan Davies, Jeremy Hardy, Eddie Izzard and Paul Merton.

Lastly, I do feel very lucky to have worked alongside many talented writers and comedians over the years. This includes Victoria Wood, Bob Monkhouse, Caroline Aherne, Steve Coogan, and Stanley Baxter.


What do you enjoy about teaching at City lit?

What I enjoy most about teaching at City Lit is the positive atmosphere, the all-round support from colleagues, and the enthusiasm of the students - they truly inspire me!


Do you have any upcoming projects that you are working on that you could tell us about?

I am currently working on a new comedy show for Radio 4 about an ‘urban poet’, tapping into the undiscovered world of the competitive poetry clubs. It really has been a hilarious experience and I am very proud of it!

I also have a new series of podcasts, involving top comedians discussing their health issues with a Harley Street doctor. We have some great names lined up!


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