Graham Linehan says he’s been knocked back from entering Australia

Graham Linehan says he’s been knocked back from entering Australia
Graham Linehan says he’s been knocked back from entering Australia

Comedian and writer Graham Linehan says he was turned away from boarding a plane for Australia, causing a delay to his upcoming speaking tour.

The tour promoting Linehan’s book Tough Crowd: How I Made and Lost a Career in Comedy was due to start in Perth later this week.

The event is being organised by the recently formed Free Speech Union of Australia, a company who describe their mission as to promote free speech including “gender critical viewpoints”.

The Irish writer and anti-transgender activist is the creative force behind the comedy shows including Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd.

In recent years Linehan has become focused on sharing his views about transgender people, reportedly saying his viewpoint has led to the loss of his career and the end of his marriage.

In a video posted to social media Linehan said he was turned away when he tried to travel to Australia.

“I’ve just come out of Heathrow, they’re not letting me on the plane.” he says from a video filmed in the airport carpark. “Even though it took me a second to get a visa for New Zealand, my Australian visa, which is supposed to take a day usually, has now been held up for two weeks.

“They’re not even letting me on the plane. So, my events begin this week and I hope I can make them. Let’s see what happens.”

Alongside the video Linehan posted a message saying he may not make it to his Perth events, and he had applied to visit Australia on a 651 Visa. The Department of Immigration website suggests that 90 per cent of visas of this class are granted within 24 hours.

Linehan includes a comedy writing masterclass, a book launch and, a private event for members of the Free Speech Union.

A spokesperson for the company said they will now be forced to reschedule the Perth dates to coincide with the rest of his Australian tour.

“We plan to reschedule the Perth events in due course. The remainder of his Australian tour was always scheduled for later, after his trip to New Zealand.” a spokesperson said.

In a social media post the Free Speech Union said they were disappointed with the Department of Home Affairs.

Graeme Watson 

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