The Sex Education writer on stand-up, sleeper trains and Italian food

Growing up

I was never sure whether I was English, Italian or Australian. I’m still confused.

Best advice

You should never yuck someone else’s yum.


I deal with stress by lying under a weighted blanket watching series 1-3 of Cheers.

Last time I cried

It happens whenever I listen toDesert Island Discs. No matter who is on. Every single time.

My passion outside TV is stand-up. I like to think of it as my high-adrenalin hobby.

My favourite gig was performing with Jess Thom of Touretteshero at Battersea Arts Centre. It was a ‘relaxed’ performance, so heckles (both voluntary and involuntary) were actively encouraged. That room had the best atmosphere of any room I’ve ever known.

Scariest experience

I am visually impaired. My whole life is a scary experience.

Career ambition

To go back in time and work on series 1-3 of Cheers.


Holiday destination

I enjoy taking sleeping pills on sleeper trains so I try to factor this into all holiday plans.

My mentor

I’ve been lucky this year to work with two of my screenwriting heroes – Peter Bowker and Laurie Nunn. I’m treating them as my mentors whether they like it or not.

I shout at the telly when a parent in a drama reads their child a bedtime story and the child drifts quietly off to sleep. This is false advertising for parenthood.

My big break

BBC Writersroom started the ball rolling and I joined Channel 4’s 4Screenwriting initiative. I owe a debt of gratitude to Anne Edyvean, Amira El-Nemr and Philip Shelley.


Most annoying habit

I am highly susceptible to psychosomatic nits.

Signature dish

Melanzane alla parmigiana – my nonna taught my dad and my dad taught me.

Annalisa Dinnella

DG for a day

More audio description, please

  • Annalisa Dinnella is a writer (Ralph & Katie; Sex Education)