Who is Titania McGrath? | Publisher reveals which comedian is behind the 'woke' parody

Who is Titania McGrath?

Publisher reveals which comedian is behind the 'woke' parody

She is a Twitter sensation who has won 188,000 followers for her uncompromising opinions on what it takes to be a woke social justice warrior in the 21st Century.

As Titania McGrath prepares to publish her first book this week, rumours have been circulating who is really behind the parody account of the ‘radical intersectionalist poet’.

Now Chortle can reveal that stand-up Andrew Doyle  has been identified as the author by publisher Little, Brown.

The comic, who also co-writes Tom Walker’s angry news reporter Jonathan Pie, was named in a document circulated at the Frankfurt Book Fair last year.

In the brochure, designed to help sell the rights to the book worldwide, the publisher wrote unequivocally: ‘In How To Be Woke, Andrew Doyle takes on the mantle of radical poet and activist Titania McGrath, who will explain why you are wrong about everything and how to become more like her. ‘

It adds: ‘Titania McGrath is the creation of Andrew Doyle, one of the UK’s foremost political satirists. He is the co-writer of internet sensation Jonathan Pie and has collaborated with Pie creator Tom Walker on numerous viral videos. Their response to Donald Trump’s election has been viewed online more than 150 million times.’

Doyle was yesterday named as a possible contender as the creator of McGrath in the Sunday Times, and when Chortle asked him about the reports, he pointed us to an article he wrote for the  website Spiked.

In the piece, he said, ‘I was a little surprised by the suggestion that I was the same person’ – but did not deny the rumour.

He instead dedicated most of the column to an interview with satirist Lisa Graves, who has also been named as a prime suspect.

In the piece, she denies being the real Titania, despite having created the digital image that is her online icon.

When Doyle suggests she must know the author, Graves says: ‘Maybe I do’, she says. ‘Maybe I don’t. Who’s to say who Titania really is? In a way, Titania is all of us. Titania is me, Titania is you, Titania is Fred Dibnah. Actually, he’s dead isn’t he? But you get the general idea.’

According to Little, Brown, Titania McGrath is ‘a millennial icon on the forefront of online activism (ie, having written numerous angry tweets)… uniquely placed to guide her readers through the often bewildering array of terminology and concepts that constitute 21st century "wokeness".’

Her tweets include: ‘Hey white people. If you really want to understand your privilege, try identifying as black for a month. You wouldn’t believe the disapproving looks I get when I tell people I’m an ethnic minority’; ‘If your opinions are up for "debate" then they’re probably not that worthwhile to begin with’; and ‘We should give all newborn babies numbers rather than names until they are ready to determine their own gender identity’.

She has occasionally been mistaken for the real deal, with NatWest customer service replying to her complaint that it was inciting violence against vegans and Private Eye quoting her pretentious claim that readers should buy her book ‘for the sake of humanity’ in its Pseuds Corner.

Debate over McGrath’s identity comes after The Independent stands accused of being duped by another sockpuppet, after publishing an account of sexism and racism on the comedy circuit.

The author, Liam Evans, claimed he was an open-spot comedian, but there is no evidence that he actually exists or has ever been booked on a gig. 

The newspaper has not responded to requests from comedians including Stewart Lee about whether they checked out the writer’s veracity, claiming the picture of the comedy scene portrayed by the article would ‘stoke the usual high profile alt-right commentators' sense of grievance’.

Titania McGrath’s book Woke: A Guide To Social Justice is published on Thursday. It is available from the not-very-woke Amazon for £9.35; or the more socially responsible Foyles for £12.99.

Published: 4 Mar 2019

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