1980: Ariane Sherine was born in Camden, London, England.
1996 – 2000: she was expelled from school, and spent ages 16 to 19 hanging out with the band Duran Duran at their studio, as described in this 2014 Guardian article. She played piano on two tracks at the recording sessions for the Duran Duran album Pop Trash.
2002: Ariane did work experience at the NME, and was commissioned to write two music reviews for them. She graduated from the University of Westminster with First Class Honours in her BA in Commercial Music – during her degree, she interviewed the singers Nerina Pallot, Raissa and Sean Paul. In summer 2002, Ariane entered the BBC Talent New Sitcom Writers’ Award with her very first comedy script, and achieved the runner-up place. She then gained a place on a Children’s BBC writers’ scheme, where she was mentored by Tracy Beaker executive producer Jane Dauncey.
2003: Ariane graduated with an MA in Scriptwriting from Goldsmiths College, University of London. She was commissioned as a scriptwriter on a Children’s BBC show, the Jacqueline Wilson adaptation The Story of Tracy Beaker, and on youth sitcom Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, shown on BBC2 and BBC3. She performed for six months on the stand-up circuit in 2003, reaching the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year Final, but quit stand-up before performing in it. During the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, she worked as a reviewer for Chortle.
2004-2007: Ariane worked full-time as a researcher/writer on the women’s magazine New Woman. She appeared on Countdown, winning two episodes, and was commissioned to write material for the start of the show for the next three years, which was read out by Richard Whiteley, Carol Vorderman and Des Lynam. She was also commissioned as a scriptwriter on the Children’s ITV show The New Worst Witch, the CBeebies show Space Pirates (also shown on BBC1), and was hired as a table writer on the hit BBC1 primetime sitcom My Family.
2008-2009: Ariane started writing what would eventually be over 70 comment and analysis columns for The Guardian, and was asked to write features for The Independent and Independent on Sunday as a result, as well as travel features for The Sunday Times, book reviews for The Observer, and features for magazines including New Humanist and Esquire. She created the Atheist Bus Campaign, an advertising campaign that went global across 13 countries including America, New Zealand and Germany, with slogans on public transport saying ‘There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.’ Sponsored by Richard Dawkins, the campaign ran in The Guardian, raised over £100,000 in public donations in its first four days, and would achieve the most UK and international press of any advertising campaign in 2009, sparking complaints and inspiring three sets of Christian bus adverts. At the end of 2008, Ariane was made a Patron of the British Humanist Association.
To publicise the campaign, she appeared on BBC1’s BBC Breakfast, BBC London News, ITN News, Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine Show, Radio 4’s Sunday Programme, on a Guardian video blog, ABC and NBC Television in America, and Sunrise breakfast show in Australia. She was invited to speak on international radio stations across the world including NPR and CBC, and asked to do a special Thought for the Day equivalent on Radio 4’s iPM programme. She wrote the My Week column in The Sunday Times, and the Diary in New Humanist. She has appeared four times on BBC Breakfast, and has also appeared on ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show.
As a result of the Atheist Bus Campaign, Ariane was commissioned by HarperCollins on a two-book deal to edit a celebrity anthology, The Atheist's Guide to Christmas. She persuaded 42 celebrities and writers to contribute, including Derren Brown, Simon Le Bon, Richard Dawkins, Brian Cox, Charlie Brooker, David Baddiel, Jenny Colgan, Ben Goldacre, Simon Singh, Josie Long, AC Grayling, Natalie Haynes, Richard Herring and many more. The book was the subject of a Guardian news story, was an Amazon bestseller, and the advance and all royalties were donated to the UK HIV charity Terrence Higgins Trust, raising over £60,000 in total. A US version of the book was published as a result.
In late 2009, Ariane gave a talk at TAM London (The Amazing Meeting), a skeptics’ conference organized by the James Randi Foundation.
2010-2012: Ariane duetted with Tim Minchin at the Big Libel Gig at London’s Cambridge Theatre in 2010, on her self-penned Simon Singh Song, in support of the science writer Simon Singh’s libel case. She achieved her first extended-length column with picture byline in The Guardian newspaper, and was commissioned to present and write a Guardian video series, GNews140. Between August 2010 and the end of 2013 she had a major nervous breakdown, suffering from anxiety, depression, OCD and suicidal ideation, which she later wrote about for The Guardian in 2014. She gave birth to a daughter in 2011, during her breakdown, and is now a single mother.
2013: Ariane released a free book about charitable giving, Give: How to Be Happy, which received quotes from Charlie Brooker (‘This book might just make the world a better place. Unfortunately’), Simon Le Bon, Dave Gorman and Anthony Seldon. She wrote articles for The Guardian and New Humanist to promote the book, and sold 50% of her possessions in aid of the charity Médecins Sans Frontières.
2014-2015: Ariane’s band The Lovely Electric released their comedy debut pop album Beautiful Filth in October 2014, including the single Hitler Moustache, the video for which featured a cameo from Charlie Brooker. Ariane wrote articles about the album for The Guardian and The Erotic Review. Beautiful Filth was favourably reviewed by Kate Copstick in the Erotic Review, received a 4 star review from music-news.com and achieved a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 on Amazon. Ariane wrote and performed every track on the album, and was the subject of a 2014 John Fleming blog. The band split up soon after the album’s release.
Ariane became a regular interviewer for New Humanist magazine, a prestigious quarterly journal of ideas, arts, science and culture founded in 1885 and edited by former New Statesman assistant editor Daniel Trilling. Ariane has interviewed celebrities including Tim Minchin, Charlie Brooker, Shappi Khorsandi, Josie Long, Sara Pascoe and Isy Suttie.
Ariane took part in a small solo local journalistic investigation, published in the Huffington Post, and was interviewed about it on NPR's All Things Considered, broadcast to 11.8 million American listeners across the United States.
2016: Ariane returned to the comedy circuit in February 2016, achieving seven paid gigs in her first seven weeks. Her Love Song for Jeremy Corbyn appeared in the Evening Standard, she was the subject of a recent John Fleming blog, and her weekly email Adventures of a Stand-Up Comic is currently being serialised on Chortle. She was also recently interviewed about stand-up comedy by the School of Laughter.
In 2016, Ariane has performed at shows including Pull the Other One, the Monkey Business Saturday Late Show, the Old Ram Brewery, Comedy Café, Up the Creek, Downstairs at the King's Head and is currently gigging for the UK's largest independent comedy booker, Mirth Control. She performed at this year’s Malcolm Hardee Awards Show in Edinburgh.
In August 2016, she received a write-up in The Scotsman with the quotes 'She's fantastic. Wonderfully clever lyrics and very funny.' Comedy reviewer Claire Smith also wrote in The Scotsman, 'You may not have heard of Ariane Sherine yet, but you will.'
Ariane now writes regularly for prestigious weekly magazine The Spectator, and wrote the cover feature for the magazine's historic all-female cover, the first in the magazine's 188-year history, published in August 2016. Since the end of May 2016, she has had two full-length features and four columns published in the magazine, a book review in the Autumn Books supplement, a feature in Spectator Life magazine, and five blogs published on The Spectator website.
Ariane is currently working on both her debut novel and her first full-length solo comedy show, which she will be taking to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017.
© Copyright Ariane Sherine 2016