Date Of Birth: 24/09/1962
Dee's first public act was an open-mike gig in 1988. He toiled away on the circuit with little success, while holding down menial kitchen jobs.
Disillusioned with his lack of progress, he was ready to quit when he took to the stage with a grumpy, 'couldn't care less attiude' which, to his surprised, won over the audience. In that moment he found his voice – and a career.
Things really took off in 1991, when he won the British Comedy Award for best stage newcomer as well as a Perrier Award nomination.
In February the following year he landed his own, series on Channel 4, setting him on the road to fame. By 1995 he was starring in his own series on ITV.
His list of awards to date include two at the 1995 British Comedy Awards, three British Advertising awards for his infamous 'widget' John Smith Bitter commercials in 1997, and the best stand-up gong at the 1997 British Comedy Awards.
As well as his comedy work, he has appeared on TV dramas including The Grimleys in 1996; fairground romance, Tunnel of Love in 2004; and The Deputy, where he played a political fixer alongside Warren Clarke, also in 2004. He has also performed in Yasmina Reza's award-winning play Art in the West End. Probably one of his most memorable television appearances was on the first Celebrity Big Brother, in 2001, which he won.
Jack Dee Videos
Jack Dee's Help Desk
This is a simple format that’s quite clearly being developed for TV or radio. The audience submit the problems that ail them, and Jack Dee and his panel of comedians become ill-equipped agony aunts offering possible solutions.
Yet the comedy seemed to come almost despite the suggestions, rather than because of them. That could just be a matter of needing more careful selection, but could signify a more elementary problem with the idea as it’s often not entirely clear how much levity should be bought to the real-life problems – which tend to be fundamentally insoluble in any case.
The first tonight came from a woman concerned that when she went out for a drink, she’d always have too many; how should she slow down? Panellist Celia Pacquola came up with a surreal solution, but otherwise no one could really get a handle on it. And the second was even less fertile comic territory, as a group of women said they were fed up with being slowed down by a friend who had a dodgy knee and needed an operation. Understandably, no one was quite sure about being cruel to a disability, even a minor one.
Things only really took off when the panel – also comprising Phill Jupitus, Shappi Khorsandi and Ivo Graham – used the questions to launch into their own anecdotes. Of course, being comics they are eager to top each others’ stories and lob in nifty one-liners.
Khordandi seemed to have enough entertaining troubles of her own not to need any input from the floor, while Graham impressed most with his quick wit, primality a masterful use of callbacks that tied various stands of the show neatly, and hilariously, together. Jupitus, the most experienced improviser of the lot, helped sustain some running gags, too. As chairman, Dee rationed his contributions, but when they did come his weary deadpan and often witheringly dismissive quips hit the spot.
With such a strong panel, laughs inevitably flowed… but it seems that a show about problems might have one of its own: that the jumping-off point for the comedy is too uncertain. But maybe given a three-hour recording and a half-hour edit – like certain TV formats – this would work.
Jack Dee Dates
Tue 5 May 2015
- Milton Keynes Stables
Thu 7 May 2015
- Radlett Centre
- Call for prices
Sat 9 May 2015
- Kings Lynn Corn Exchange
Mon 11 May 2015
- Yeovil Octagon Theatre
- Call for prices
Wed 20 May 2015
- Bracknell South Hill Park Arts Centre
Thu 21 May 2015
- Beck Theatre
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Starring: Adam Hills, Alan Carr, Diversity, Jack Dee, Jason Byrne, Jo Brand, Jon Richardson, Jonathan Ross, Josh Widdicombe, Kevin Bridges, Lee Evans, Michael McIntyre, Miranda Hart, Nina Conti, Paddy McGuiness, Paul Chowdhry, Rhod Gilbert, Rich Hall, Russell Brand, Seann Walsh, Tom Stade and Warwick Davis.Jack Dee: Live Stand-Up Collection 2012
Live at the London Palladium,Live and Uncut, Live at the Apollo, Live Again and The Best of Jack Dee's Happy HourLead Balloon Series 4 Lead Balloon Series 3 Channel 4's Comedy Gala Thanks For Nothing, by Jack Dee
MemoirsLead Balloon Series 2 Lead Balloon Series 1