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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© BBC/Open Mike/Ellis O’Brien

ITV turns its back on comedy

No sitcoms left as it cancels Bad Move and Birds Of A Feather

Britain’s largest commercial channel now has NO sitcoms in its schedules, after ITV scrapped Birds of a Feather and Jack Dee’s sitcom Bad Move.

The broadcaster’s boss, Kevin Lygo, announced the news last night, admitting the future of scripted comedy looked ‘quite bleak’ for his flagship channel.

'ITV was never quite the home of sitcom,' he said. 

Birds of a Feather, starring Linda Robson, Pauline Quirke and Lesley Joseph, was revived five years ago after a 16-year absence.

The opening attracted almost eight million viewers, giving ITV its highest-rated comedy launch in more than a decade.  But by the 2017 Christmas episode, the audience was 4.83million

Lygo said the show  had ‘come to a sort of natural end’.

Bad Move, which also starred Kerry Godliman, Seann Walsh and Miles Jupp, began in 2017.  The second series, which went out in September and October in an 8pm slot, averaged 3.4 million viewers.

'We had two series of the Jack Dee sitcom but I don’t think we’re continuing with it now,' Lygo said. 'It’s just very, very hard.' 

Last night’s news follows the cancellation of Benidorm last year, giving the flagship channel no scripted comedy shows,

Lygo suggested viewers get their laughs from soaps like Coronation Street instead.

He also suggested ITV was 'unashamedly just trying to lighten the mood a bit' - but not with comedy, but with 'joyously warm-bath television' like the detective series Vera and Endeavour, both of which feature a new murder every episode.

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Published: 6 Feb 2019

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