Sharon's new show based on her own baby shock

Sharon Horgan

By Elaine McCahill

Irish comedian Sharon Horgan has revealed how her new Channel 4 sitcom, Catastrophe is based on her personal experiences.

The show, which she wrote with her co-star, Boston comedian Rob Delaney, follows an Irish teacher named Sharon and an American businessman called Rob who, after a week of getting together, discover that she is expecting a baby.

"That is what happened to me so it made sense to write about it," Horgan said.

Sharon and her now husband, entrepreneur Jeremy Rainbird, had an unplanned pregnancy six months into their relationship.

They are now the happy parents of two girls, Sadhbh (aged 11) and Amer (aged six).

"I couldn't have written it four years ago. I had to get further down the line and realise how brutally hard having children is, then hear Rob talk about it so viscerally in his stand-up," she explained.


"We liked the idea of writing about how hard it is to stay in love and in a relationship when you've got kids, and how easy it would be to put an end to it."

She made sure to cast some Irish actors in her new show.

"I had to cast my Irish family in Catastrophe, and the amount of brilliant actors who came in… I thought, 'Well, I'm going to think of an Irish comedy'. "

Sharon's career is on the up as she has also penned a new HBO series for Sarah Jessica Parker (right). The new show, called Divorce, will be SJP's first TV series since Sex And The City in 2004.

"It's luck and chemistry. She'd been looking for something, so HBO sent her some of my work and set us up on a date. She liked my stuff and we got on well," she said of working with the star.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Channel 4's proposed comedy about the Irish famine but Sharon does not agree with the uproar.

Horgan believes the social media rants and petitions about the comedy is just "mass hysteria from people who don't understand satire".

"Anyone who's got a brain and empathy with other humans can figure out where the line is.

"There's got to be a good reason to cross it," she said.