With The League of Gentlemen back on our screens this month, we’re taking a look at what the group’s four members have been up to since the original TV series ended in 2002. Now that Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss have been covered, Sophie turns her attention to Jeremy Dyson, The League‘s less visible fourth member who wrote but didn’t perform…
Not long after The League of Gentlemen’s third and final series aired, Jeremy co-created and co-wrote Funland with Simon Ashdown. The dark comedy thriller set in Blackpool aired on BBC Three in 2005 and had a big cast including Daniel Mays, Ian Puleston-Davies and Kris Marshall, as well as Kevin Eldon and The League‘s Mark Gatiss.
2005 also saw the release of The League of Gentlemen’s Apocalypse – the group’s first and only outing on the big screen. Reece, Steve and Mark played themselves in the rather meta film, which involved the residents of Royston Vasey discovering their creators are about to abandon them, while Jeremy was played by Michael Sheen! The film’s release was followed by the group’s second major UK tour, The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You.
Around this time, Jeremy wrote his first novel, What Happens Now, which was published in 2006, and this was followed the next year by a collection of short stories called Never Trust a Rabbit. From 2007 to 2010, he was a writer and script editor for The Armstrong & Miller Show on BBC One.
In 2008, Jeremy wrote a contemporary adaptation of The Billy Goats Gruff for BBC One’s Fairy Tales anthology series. He then worked with Andy Nyman to create the play Ghost Stories, which premiered in Liverpool in early 2010, before transferring to the West End where it would go on to thrill and chill audiences until 2015.
During the same year that Ghost Stories opened, Jeremy had another book published, The Cranes that Build the Cranes, plus he adapted Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales for the stage and started working as a script editor for Simon Amstell’s sitcom Grandma’s House.
In 2012, he published The Haunted Book, chronicling his efforts to find the truth behind ghost stories across Britain, and released Jeremy Dyson’s Haunted Recordings, about his time spent doing research for the book at Leeds Library. Over the same year, he was also a script editor for Kathy Burke’s Walking and Talking on Sky Atlantic and for two BBC Three comedies – Sharon Horgan and Holly Walsh’s Dead Boss and Jack Whitehall’s Bad Education.
As part of the Sky Arts Playhouse Presents season in 2012, Jeremy co-wrote and directed Psychobitches – a sketch show in which famous women from history and fiction visit a therapist played by Rebecca Front. Following the success of the pilot episode, Psychobitches ran for two series from 2013 to 2014 and its hugely impressive cast included (to name but a few) Sharon Horgan, Katy Brand, Julia Davis, Samantha Spiro and Morgana Robinson. Jeremy’s League of Gentlemen collaborators even made guest appearances, with Mark Gatiss showing up as Joan Crawford, Steve Pemberton as Dian Fossey and Reece Shearsmith as both Princess Margaret and Old Mother Shipton.
Alongside Psychobitches, Jeremy wrote an episode of Crackanory on Dave and was a script editor for Blandings and the second series of This Is Jinsy, as well as for James Corden and Mat Baynton’s The Wrong Mans. The year after Psychobitches ended, he worked as a script editor for comedy drama We’re Doomed! The Dad’s Army Story on BBC Two and for BBC Three comedies Crims and Together.
Most recently, Jeremy has been a writer and script editor for Tracy Ullman’s Show and Tracy Breaks the News during 2017. He has also worked with Andy Nyman again to make a film version of their hit play Ghost Stories. Starring Nyman along with Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Nicholas Burns, Jill Halfpenny and Paul Whitehouse, the film has been screened at a few festivals this year and received very positive reviews. Ghost Stories is set to be released in cinemas in 2018 and we can’t wait to see it!
The League of Gentlemen returns to the BBC on December 18th, 19th and 20th.