Irvine Welsh was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. Energised by the rave scene, he started to write and his paths crossed with the above. Digging out some old diaries, Welsh did a draft of what would become Trainspotting. Welsh published parts of it from 1991 onwards in DOG, the West Coast Magazine, and New Writing Scotland. Duncan McLean published extracts of the novel in two Clocktower pamphlets, A Parcel of Rogues and Past Tense: Four Stories from a Novel. Meanwhile Kevin Williamson, a member of Duncan McLean’s Muirhouse writers’ group, published sections of Trainspotting in the literary magazine Rebel Inc. Duncan McLean recommended Welsh to Robin Robertson, then editorial director of Secker & Warburg, who decided to publish Trainspotting, even though he believed it unlikely to sell.
When Trainspotting was published in 1993 Irvine Welsh shot to fame. Since Danny Boyle’s film adaptation of Trainspotting was released in February 1996 Irvine Welsh has remained a controversial figure, whose novels, stage and screen plays, novellas and short stories have proved difficult for literary critics to assimilate, which only made Welsh's success more noticeable. More books followed, Ecstasy becoming the first paperback original to go straight in at No1 on the Sunday Times best-sellers' list, a feat emulated by Filth, which became Welsh's highest selling book after Trainspotting. His first novel has now sold almost 1 million copies in the UK alone and is a worldwide phenomenon. Books such as Glue, Porno and recent The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs have increased his profile in America and Canada.
He has recently branched into film and is a partner in two film production companies. He joined Four Ways films, which was founded by Antonia Bird, Robert Carlyle and Mark Cousins, and has recently set up Jawbone films with his screenwriting partner Dean Cavanagh, and Phil John and Jon Lewis Owen.
In 2005 Welsh married for the second time. He promises that he's never going to do it again.