Lee Mack

Lee Mack

Real name: Lee Gordon McKillop
Born in Blackburn and raised in Southport, Lee Mack started in comedy after a series of casual jobs, including stableboy and working in a bingo hall. His first taste of stand-up came as a Pontin's bluecoat.

His frist experience of the wider circuit came in 1994, when he did his first open mike slot while a student at Brunel University, West London. Within 18 months, he had won the So You Think You're Funny new act competition at the 1995 Edinburgh Fringe and become a full-time comedian.

In 1996, he returned to the festival as part of an ensemble show, Gagging For It, and the following year he performed the solo show Return Of The Mack. He had some level of fame by then, having hosted the Channel 4 stand-up show Gas, but found the experience of performing alone disheartening.

So in 1999, he teamed up with Catherine Tate and Dan Antopolski for the Fringe sketch show Lee Mack's Bits, and the 2000 follow-up was nominated for the Perrier. On the strength of that, Mack became one of the key players in ITV's The Sketch Show, which ran from 2001 to 2003. He was the only member of the UK cast to feature in the short-lived American remake, introduced by Kelsey Grammer, in 2004.

The following year he landed the job of host on BBC One sports quiz They Think It's All Over, taking over from Nick Hancock. But the programme was cancelled after one series with Mack in the chair.

He then moved to sitcom, premiering the traditional studio-based Not Going Out on BBC One in October 2006, at a time when that style was thought to be dead. The show returned for a second series in September 2007 and a third in January 2009. It has won Rose d'Or and Royal Television Society awards.

Mack is also a team captain on the BBC One panel show Would I Lie To You?

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Who won the 2022 comedy Baftas?

Triumphs for Sophie Willan, Jamie Demetriou, Motherland and Mo Gilligan. Watch the acceptance speeches

Sophie Willan has picked up another Bafta for Alma’s Not Normal.

The comic has won the award for best female performance in a comedy programme for taking the title role, a year after winning a Bafta craft award for writing the pilot.

Willan dedicated her award to her grandmother who brought her up, and who died during filming of the forthcoming second series.

Fellow nominees were Aimee Lou Wood for Sex Education; Aisling Bea for This Way Up; Anjana Vasan for We Are Lady Parts; Natasia Demetriou for Stath Lets Flats and Rose Matafeo for Starstruck.

Jamie Demetriou won best male performance in a comedy programme for Stath Lets Flats.

He said it was ‘mad’ that he won, and congratulated his fellow nominees Joseph Gilgun (for Brassic): Ncuti Gatwa (Sex Education); Samson Kayo (Bloods); Steve Coogan (This Time With Alan Partridge); Tim Renkow (Jerk).

And he got a laugh for appearing emotional and saying: ‘I promised myself I wouldn't sing…’

Motherland won best scripted comedy ahead of Alma's Not Normal, Stath Lets Flats and We Are Lady Parts.

Holly Walsh, one of the writers, thanked the cast, director, editor, crew and producer – and praised the other nominees for all featuring ‘amazing women being funny and stupid and dumb and beautiful and everything you want to see’.

Mo Gilligan won best comedy entertainment show for his Channel 4 programme The Latish Show, beating Graham Norton, Munya Chawawa’s YouTube series Race Around Britain and Romesh Ranganathan’s The Ranganathan.

In an emotional speech, Gilligan said: ‘In 2017, when I got offered this show, my mental health wasn’t in the best place. Channel 4 bought me into this massive building… and they trusted me to be myself and bring black boy joy to screens.'

Gilligan’s sometimes collaborator Big Zuu won two Baftas, for best feature and best entertainment performance for Big Zuu's Big Eats, while Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway won best entertainment show.

In a previous ceremony, Nida Manzoor won a Bafta craft award for comedy writing on We Are Lady Parts, which also won awards for casting and costume awards.

As announced in advance, Sir Billy Connolly received the Bafta fellowship award, the highest accolade the academy can hand out. He sent an acceptance speech from his Florida home saying: ‘I’m very proud to receive this.’

The show was hosted by Richard Ayoade. Here are his opening remarks:

There was also praise for Lee Mack and Chris McCausland’s double act in giving Willan her award.Comments on Twitter included:

  • ‘Lee Mack and Chris McCausland have just pulled off a pure Morecambe and Wise moment with their nominations slot sketch. Belly laughing stuff. Genius.’
  • ‘Personally I think that Lee Mack and Chris McCausland won the BAFTAs this year.’
  • ‘Lee Mack and Chris McCausland deserve a show of their own. Proper comedy!’
  • ‘Next year there should be a BAFTA for the funniest BAFTA category intro and it should go to Lee Mack and Chris McCausland

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Published: 8 May 2022

The Chop chopped

Sky has permanently dropped its Lee Mack fronted woodwork…
30/10/2020

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