Karen Dunbar

Karen Dunbar

Originally from Ayr, Karen Dunbar was a DJ and karaoke host for ten years on the Glasgow and Edinburgh gay scene before moving into comedy.

Her break came when she attended open auditions for BBC Scotland's comedy unit in 1997, and was immediately signd up Radio Scotland’s comedy programme Chewin' The Fat.

The show, which also starred Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphil transferred to TV in 1999, and ran for three sereies. It led to Dunbar's self-titled BBC One Scotland show, which has run for four series and been nominated for two Rose D'Or international TV awards.

In, 2007 Dunbar made her first appearance in pantomime, playing Nanny Begood in Sleeping Beauty at the King's Theatre in Glasgow.

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BBC Scotland orders a raft of female-led comedies

Featuring the likes of Janey Godley, Susan Riddell,  Ashley Storrie and Karen Dunbar

BBC Scotland has announced a raft of shows featuring female comedy talent, including Janey Godley, Susan Riddell,   Ashley Storrie and Karen Dunbar.

Chewin The Fat star Dunbar is hosting an hour-long show called The Comedy Of Offence, looking at how a comedian navigates taste and offence in what the BBC calls ‘this newly woke world’.

The programme, to air next year, will see her research ‘ins and outs of woke language and culture’ as she prepares to revive her Noughties characters for a live show in front of a young audience.

Meanwhile, mother-and-daughter Godley and Storrie will be going into workplaces including fishing boats and an airport in their four-part series Ashley & Janey Get A Real Job.

They will be competing against each other to   impress their boss and win their ‘employee of the day’ badge in the series, which also airs next year.

Meanwhile, BBC Scotland is launching a series of comedy shorts on iPlayer next month.

Each of the four ideas will run for three five-minute episodes before airing on the BBC Scotland channel as 15-minute specials.

Out on Wednesday June 9, the series comprises:

Dregs: Written by comedian Susan Riddell, who also stars as a woman who finds herself back living with her mum, working her old Saturday job in a run-down shopping centre after her boyfriend dumps her.  Godley and Dunbar co-star

Stevens & McCarthy: A new sketch show written and performed by  comedy duo - Gayle Telfer Stevens  and Louise McCarthy.

Two For One: Kendra and Brenda strike up an unlikely friendship working in a department store in this series Scot Squad actress Kendra McPherson, who also stars alongside Joyce Falconer. During quieter moments in the shop they discuss everything from romance to spirituality, even the cinematic output of Pierce Brosnan

Who Runs The World? An all-female sketch show  from impressionist Elizabeth Caproni

BBC commissioning executive Gavin Smith said: ‘We’re delighted to announce this new selection of titles for iPlayer and the channel that showcases some of Scotland’s top female comedy writing, presenting and performing talent.

'It’s great to see a mix of new and established names bringing fresh laughs to the Scottish audience.’

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Published: 26 May 2021

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