Dr Phil Differ

HONORARY DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF LETTERS

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In a career spanning almost 40 years, Phil Differ has produced, directed and written some of Scotland’s most popular comedy shows. He has always lived and worked in Scotland and, while he has created shows broadcast across the UK, his brand of comedy is born of his love of Scotland and its unique, infectious blend of dialect and humour.

A graduate of Glasgow College of Technology, a founding institution of GCU, Phil wrote for shows such as A Kick up the Eighties, Spitting Image and Not the Nine O’clock News as a student.

His break came in 1983, when he became Assistant Producer with BBC Scotland Comedy Unit. Phil was promoted to Senior Producer and helped develop award-winning comedies such as Naked Video, City Lights, Rab C Nesbitt, Scotch and Wry and Only an Excuse? – which has been on our screens for more than 30 years.

He joined the independent production company Comedy Unit as Director at a time when shows like Chewin’ the Fat, Still Game, Offside, The Karen Dunbar Show and Watson’s Wind Up made their debuts.

At 47, Phil decided it was time for a new adventure and opted to try stand-up comedy. He asked comedian and friend Fred MacAulay for tips on getting started and, the following week, was on stage in his own slot at one of Fred’s gigs. Phil embraced the freedom of stand-up and has performed for the past 15 years. Phil also writes for theatre. His latest play – Double Feature, starring Andy Gray and Grant Stott – ran at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and has toured Scotland.

A GCU alumnus – he even met his wife, Ann, in class here – Phil is passionate about the University and is a supporter of, and inspiration to, students on the MATV Fiction Writing programme.

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