Johnny Vegas

Johnny Vegas

Real name: Michael Pennington
Date of birth: 05-09-1970

The son of strict Catholic parents, Pennington joined a seminary at the age of 11 but left after 18 months, deciding a career in the priesthood was not for him.

Instead, when he was old enough, he headed for London to follow his new chosen career, pottery, and studied ceramic design fort hree years.

He flirted again with the idea of joining the church during a period of depression at the age of 24, but instead chose a career in comedy.

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Murder On The Blackpool Express - the sequel

Johnny Vegas and Sian Gibson to star in Death On The Tyne

Johnny Vegas and Sian Gibson are to star in a follow-up to Murder On The Blackpool Express.

The pair will be reviving their characters of Terry and Gemma for the new two-hour special, entitled Death On The Tyne.

As with last year’s film, producers have assembled a star-studded cast including Sue Johnston, Felicity Montagu and Doon Mackichan.

Benidorm’s Sheila Reid returns as Mildred, one of the few characters not bumped off in the original.

The script, again by comedian Jason Cook, involves Terry and Gemma  promising to take  Mildred and her care home friends on an Amsterdam cruise adventure.

In a statement, Vegas and Gibson said: ‘The script is just a wonderful flowering garden of Cook's writing and we are just two happy bees dancing in among the nectar of blood, betrayal and nautical based murder. We are loving once again being the Kylie and Jason of budget travel slaughter.’

Vicar Of Dibley star James Fleet plays the ageing lothario Captain Jack, who commands the Empress of the Tyne.

His motley crew include cruise director Denise (Montagu), first officer Justin Valentine (Lead Balloon’s Tony Gardner), DJ Bobby (David Mumeni from Fearless),  ex-pianist Alan (former EastEnders actor Don Gilet), barmaid Tracy (Stella’s Taj Atwal) and self-obsessed cabaret singer Emily (Mackichan).

Death On The Tyne – which will air later this year on Gold – will be helmed by veteran director Ed Bye, whose credits include French and Saunders, Red Dwarf and  Bottom.

Pete Thornton, senior commissioning editor for Gold said: ‘Jason Cook has come up with a jewel of a script, toiling through the long winter months to create another complex, properly funny and hugely satisfying feature length murder mystery – packed with characters to die for, or indeed be killed by.’

Andy Brereton, executive producer for programme-makers Shiny Button added: ‘I cannot wait for viewers to see Johnny, Sian and Shelia back to their sleuthing best, in a cracking new mystery by Jason Cook. I like to think that if she were still alive this would be Agatha Christie’s favourite show, after Taskmaster.’

Murder On The Blackpool Express was the most-watched show ever on Gold, amassing a total of 1.8 million viewers when all catch-up and on-demand views are counted.

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Published: 24 Jul 2018

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Book (2013)
Becoming Johnny Vegas

DVD (2012)
Moone Boy

Book (2011)
Becoming Johnny Vegas

DVD (2011)
Ideal Series 7

DVD (2010)
Ideal Series 6

DVD (2009)
Benidorm Series 3

DVD (2008)
Benidorm Series 2

DVD (2008)
Ideal: Series 3

DVD (2008)
Benidorm: Series 1

DVD (2008)
Benidorm: Series 1

DVD (2007)
Ideal Series 2


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