Debbie Barham

Deborah Ann "Debbie" Barham (20 November 1976 20 April 2003) was an English comedy writer who died at the age of 26 of heart failure brought on as a result of anorexia.[1]

Debbie Barham
Born20 November 1976 
Died20 April 2003  (aged 26)


During her 11-year career she wrote for comedians including Clive Anderson, Rory Bremner, Angus Deayton, Bob Monkhouse and Graham Norton, and for BBC programmes including The News Huddlines, The News Quiz, Loose Ends and Week Ending. Though little known by the general public she was greatly respected in the profession, and had a reputation for mental quickness, her writing being not only of high quality but also fast and prolific, even during her illness.[2][3] She wrote a column for Computeractive magazine for the few years prior to her death.[4]

She was educated at Sheffield High School, South Yorkshire,[1] and was a bright student, but left school early as she was unhappy there, and never went to university. Her early work was submitted under the name D. A. Barham, out of concern that a teenage girl would not be accepted in a world traditionally dominated by Oxbridge-educated men.[5] The radio show About a Dog was based on her last comedy proposal.


  • Peter Barham & Alan Hurndall (2006) The Invisible Girl: A Father's Moving Story of the Daughter He Lost Harper Element ISBN 0-00-720542-2


  1. Hyman, Bruce (29 April 2003). "Obituary: Comedy writer Debbie Barham". the Guardian. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  2. Gordon, Bryony (29 April 2003). "The unsung queen of comedy". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  3. "Funny girl with a fatal obsession". The Sunday Times. 4 May 2003. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  4. "PDA Musings". Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  5. "Debbie Barham". The Independent. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
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