Jack Dee

Jack Dee

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.

In 2004, Jack returned to stand-up on television with Jack Dee: Live At The Apollo featuring stand-up appearances from Joan Rivers, Ross Noble and Ardal O'Hanlon.

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Jack Dee writes a new book

Turning agony uncle again...

Jack Dee is writing a new book in which he ‘solves’ his fans’ problems.

The comic has been asking for emotional, relationship and work dilemmas to form the basis for the as-yet untitled work.

It is not the first time Dee has acted as agony uncle, with his BBC Two panel show Help Desk having run for three series from 2015 to 2017.

The book is not due out until October 2021, with the comic soliciting questions for the next three months.

He joked: ‘During lockdown I have retrained online as a psychotherapist and am now open for business. It was an arduous four hours study but worth it, as I now have a certificate of completion from The Ruislip College Of Advansed Learning (sic). And that means that I am fully qualified to handle most stuff.’

But he added the disclaimer: ‘My publishers have insisted I tell you that I haven’t [retrained as a psychotherapist] and I am in no way qualified to give you advice.’

Those who submit a question via Twitter, using the hashtag #askjack, also have to agree to a 12-point legal document of terms and conditions, giving publisher Quercus rights to publish the work and handle their data. The legal blurb also says those submitting problems must agree to delete old tweets related to their question, if requested.

At the time Help Desk launched, Dee said: ‘I’m not an obvious agony uncle, that’s partly why it works. But I have a real desire to find out the little stuff about people’s lives, it can often be funniest.’

Place an early order for the new book here. It will be Dee’s second title, following his 2009 autobiography Thanks For Nothing.

Meanwhile, he is due to resume his tour in September, coronavirus restrictions permitting. Click for dates.

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Published: 6 Jul 2020

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