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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Lee Mack to host celebrity survival series

With Holly Willoughby and Wim Hof

Lee Mack is to host a new BBC One entertainment series, Wim Hof’s Superstar Survival.

The comedian will front the six-part series with Holly Willoughby when it airs next year. 

It  will follow a group of celebrities as they embark on an adventure of self-improvement  under the guidance of ‘extreme athlete’ and well-being icon Wim Hof 

The BBC says the show ‘promises genuine reality, high drama, jeopardy and plenty of laughs’. There will also be a BBC Three spin-off showing behind-the-scenes action.

Hof - who is nicknamed The Iceman – boasts celebrity followers including Tom Cruise, Justin Bieber, Oprah Winfrey and David Beckham. His achievements include running a half marathon above the Arctic Circle barefoot, submerging himself in ice for 1hr52mins and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in just his shorts and shoes. 

He said: ‘I’ve dedicated my life to discovering how to become happier, healthier and stronger, and anything I can do, you can do too.  It’s a dream come true to be making this show with the BBC and share what I’ve learnt with millions of people.  

‘I am going to show this group of celebrities that the cold is a doorway to their soul and if they use the power of their mind anything is possible.’

 Mack said: ‘My passions in life are Wim Hof, watching This Morning’in my undies, sub-zero temperatures, looking at celebrities sitting in cold water and free hotels. But trying to find a show that combines these has proved tricky. Finally I’ve found one.’

 Willoughby added that ‘Mack is a favourite in our house because he’s so hilariously funny’.  Her husband, Dan Baldwin, is the managing director of Hungry Bear Media, which is making the show.

Further information, including hosts of the BBC Three spin off series, and details of the celebrities taking part will be announced later.

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Published: 25 Aug 2021

The Chop chopped

Sky has permanently dropped its Lee Mack fronted woodwork…

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