Adam Kay is an award-winning comedian, TV writer and Sunday Times best-selling author of two books. He is also a former NHS junior doctor, having previously worked for many years in obstetrics and gynaecology.
However, the well-documented hours and emotional impact placed upon NHS doctors weighed heavily, and after six years of intensive training followed by another six years on hospital wards, Adam hung up his stethoscope in 2010 to try his luck as a TV comedy writer.
By the end of his NHS career Adam had become a registrar — the most senior person on a shift and responsible for everything. However, he was unable to forgive himself when he accidentally cut a baby’s cheek during a caesarean operation at the end of a 12-hour shift, during which he had not even sat down.
He began to suffer terrible stress and high blood pressure and ultimately took the difficult decision to quit. The final straw had come during a shift when Adam performed an emergency caesarean on a woman with an undiagnosed low-lying placenta. The baby was stillborn and the mother lost 12 litres of blood. He was told to “fear the worst”. For years Adam suffered nightmares from that horrific incident.
Adam comments that medical school does not prepare students for the horrific things they will witness, “No one entering medicine speaks to a psychologist. But train drivers do. They assess how you would cope if someone jumps in front of a train. If you want to go on Love Island or Big Brother you are vetted”.
With his new-found career as a comedy writer, Adam built up a successful and impressive resume, working on shows such as Mrs Brown’s Boys, Mongrels, Watson & Oliver, Up the Women, Very British Problems, Flat TV, Our Ex Wife, Who is America?, Mitchell and Webb and Child Genius. He also wrote and co-created BBC Three sitcom series Crims (2015) along with Grandma's House writer Dan Swimer.
As an award-winning live performer, Adam has sold out multiple Edinburgh Fringe runs, West End seasons and UK and international tours. He is in great demand for corporate events and parties, with hundreds of testimonials available on request — including, strangely, from Prince Harry's 30th birthday.
Adam's first book, This is Going to Hurt (2017), spent over a year at number one in the Sunday Times bestseller list. It was the bestselling non-fiction title of 2018, it's the best-selling e-book of all time, and has sold a total of 1.5 million copies.
Revisiting Adam’s former career as a junior doctor and scribbled in secret after endless days and sleepless nights, it provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line.
Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking in equal measure, This is Going to Hurt has been translated into 36 languages and achieved number one bestseller status internationally.
Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas (2019) is Adam's second book. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat... but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. A must-read for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime.
Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.