Skip to main content

John Doyle

John Doyle
Staff columnist
Television critic

John Doyle is The Globe and Mail's television critic. His column appears in the Review section Monday to Thursday and on Saturday. He has been the paper's critic since 2000. From 1995 to 2000 he was the critic for Broadcast Week, the Globe's television magazine.

Born in Ireland, John holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Anglo-Irish Studies from University College, Dublin. He came to Canada in 1980 to pursue a PhD in English Literature at York University in Toronto. Having done some student and freelance journalism in Ireland, John continued to write in Canada and eventually abandoned writing for academic reward to concentrate on writing for money. After working briefly in radio and in television, he began writing a column for Broadcast Week in 1991.

Always argumentative, John has the distinction of winning a gold medal, at the age of 10, for his debating skills in the Gaelic language. His freelance articles were widely published in Canada, the U.S., Britain and Ireland and lectured on television and other aspects of popular culture. In a profile of John published in Toronto Life magazine in July, 2000, Robert Fulford wrote, "A critic as intelligent, industrious and ambitious as John Doyle should be cherished."

In 2004, John was called less charitable names. His columns mocking the Fox News Channel on its arrival in Canada attracted the attention of Fox News star Bill O'Reilly, and the channel's viewers wrote in their thousands to John, often abusively. The battle between John and Fox News viewers was the subject of international coverage, including a feature story in The New York Times.

John has won two internal Globe and Mail awards for his writing. His Globe columns have been reprinted in the U.S., the U.K. and in Australia.

His book, A Great Feast of Light: Growing Up Irish in the Television Age (Doubleday Canada) was published to acclaim in Canada in October, 2005. The book has now been reprinted many times and published in five countries, including the U.K. and Ireland.

Doyle also writes about soccer for The Globe and Mail and other publications. For the Globe he covered World Cup 2002 in Korea/Japan, Euro 2004 in Portugal, World Cup 2006 in Germany and Euro 2008 in Austria /Switzerland. He has also written extensively about soccer for The Guardian and The New York Times.

His book about soccer, The World is a Ball: The Joy, Madness, and Meaning of Soccer (Doubleday Canada) was a national bestseller in Canada on publication in the summer of 2010 and longlisted for The William Hill Irish Sports Book Of The Year. It has also been published in the U.S., Ireland, the U.K. and Croatia.

He has written essays for TV Quarterly (The Journal of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences) and wrote the introduction to the book Rockburn: The CPAC Interviews (Penumbra Press, 2007). He was profiled in the book A Story To Be Told: Personal Reflections on the Irish Emigrant Experience in Canada (Liffey Press, Dublin, 2008).


Latest articles
Review: Netflix’s Maniac is humane, surreal and highly recommended John Doyle
14 & Muslim is a nuanced, rich snapshot of a complicated situation John Doyle
The Emmys failed to reflect the very best of TV John Doyle
Can the Emmy Awards pull off a fun-filled reboot amid a content boom? John Doyle
Stitched: A sweet, silly, breezy show about the basics of clothing John Doyle
Extreme weather coverage is now extremely political John Doyle
Fall TV preview: 11 must-watch shows John Doyle
What the fall of CBS’s Leslie Moonves tells us about the television industry
First Contact: A fine, gripping journey into old and new prejudices John Doyle
Jim Carrey’s extraordinary new series, Kidding, is grimly funny and sometimes disturbing John Doyle
Sarah Palin and the ascension of reality-TV culture into the political culture John Doyle
Mayans M.C.: This son of Sons of Anarchy is a tremendous blast John Doyle
Pulp-fiction Ozark is back for the perfect long weekend binge John Doyle
Netflix’s feverish interest in youth is more than a marketing ploy John Doyle
Shaun Majumder’s departure from This Hour has 22 Minutes is all about CBC arrogance John Doyle
The Enthusiast: TV critic John Doyle on how he came to adore opera
Crisis, what crisis? Now Facebook wants to be Netflix John Doyle
In CBC presentation of Romeo and Juliet, star-crossed lovers shine brightly amid dark male rage John Doyle
Castle Rock: A good, binge-worthy riff on Stephen King’s world John Doyle
They like us, they really like us! Canadian TV getting rave reviews abroad John Doyle