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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Chris McCausland and Lee Mack to make a Christmas comedy film

Bafta presenting dup reunite on a script from Ghosts writers

Chris McCausland and Lee Mack are to revive the partnership that stole the show at the 2022 Baftas in a new Sky comedy film.

The comics will star in Bad Tidings, a festive special about two perpetually feuding neighbours in Stockport who become unlikely heroes, saving their street from notorious burglars with booby traps and banter.

It was written by Ghosts co-creators Laurence Rickard and Martha Howe-Douglas, along with McCausland.

The pair were the talk of social media after the Bafta awards ceremony when McCausland explained: ‘This is the first time somebody blind has been asked to present a Bafta, so Lee is going to tell me my bits from the autocue.’ – before muddling up who should be sating each bit.

McCausland said of Bad Tidings: ‘Talk about a back-of-an-envelope idea that has got out of hand. We are now making a Christmas comedy film and it's going to be awesome. 

'I can't wait to get up to some hilarious mayhem with Lee and bring some festive spirit into people's living rooms this Christmas.
Mack added: ‘I love Chris McCausland, I love the script and I Iove Christmas. Where do I sign?’

Also in the cast are Rebekah Staton, Sarah Alexander, Ben Crompton, Emily Coates, Josiah Eloi, Millie Kiss, Tupele Dorgu, Sunil Patel, Susan Kyd and Donna Preston.

Mack plays a grumpy home-security expert called Neil and McCausland is his neighbour Scott, who insists on keeping his Christmas lights illuminated all-year-round, mixing up their bins and criticising Neil’s ‘project’ car and generally winding him up.

Sky says: ‘ Basically, Scott’s a git. He’s also blind and all the other neighbours think he’s great. When Scott is appointed head of the Neighbourhood Watch, Neil is the only one to question his suitability for the role. 

‘Their tit-for-tat argument culminates in Neil triggering a power-cut across the entire street. On Christmas Eve. 
‘Everyone is forced to evacuate, and Neil and Scott are left alone and on guard. But the local crime family decide to rob every house on the street in that night, and the pair must set aside their differences to defeat them. They’ve got no lights, no cameras, no alarms and one of them is blind. '

 The film is directed by Tim Kirkby with Adnan Ahmed from Sky Studios producing.

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Published: 8 Apr 2024

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