Since The Jack Dee Show hit the small screen in February 1992, Jack Dee has become a household name. Born in Petts Wood and brought up in a family with a history of musical entertainers and mental illness, he left a Winchester comprehensive to start a career in catering. Realising his dour persona got more laughs than respect in the restaurant business, he followed up the advice of numerous colleagues and customers and took to the boards. That was in 1986 and Jack Dee has not looked back since.
Jack won the British Comedy Award for Best Stage Newcomer and following numerous guest TV appearances and a successful run of Edinburgh shows, he was nominated for the 1991 Perrier Award. In 1992 Jack hosted the critically acclaimed The Jack Dee Show on Channel 4 which went on to run for two series. He then moved to ITV where he hosted Jack Dee’s Saturday Night (1995) and Jack Dee’s Sunday Service (1997). By 2000 he had moved to BBC1 and presented two series of Jack Dee’s Happy Hour. In 2004 Jack hosted Jack Dee Live at the Apollo (BAFTA nominated) which was quickly followed by a second series in 2005. In 2006 Jack teamed up with Pete Sinclair to write the critically acclaimed sitcom Lead Balloon for BBC4. Rave reviews and record ratings saw the series repeated on BBC2 that same year, and it was quickly followed by a further series of eight episodes in 2007. In 2008 a third series of six shows and a Christmas special aired on BBC2, followed in the summer of 2011 by the final series of a further six shows.
He has also produced a number of highly popular DVD’s such as Jack Dee Live at the Duke of York’s Theatre (1992), Jack Dee Live at the London Palladium (1994) and Live at the Apollo (2004). His impressive list of awards to-date include two at the 1995 British Comedy Awards; one Gold and two Silver Arrows for his no infamous ‘widget’. John Smith’s Bitter commercials (1997) at the British Advertising Awards; and the prestigious Best Stand Up Comedian at the 1997 British Comedy Awards.
On the small screen Jack’s TV career has gone from strength to strength. By 1995, he was staring in his own series on ITV. Since then, he has rarely been away from our screens, staring in his own Christmas specials; over on Channel 4 in Jack and Jeremy Police 4 with Jeremy Hardy; Glamorama (a 70’s pop quiz) and Jack and Jeremy’s Real Lives. He also appeared in Granada Television’s comedy drama, The Grimleys. ; Jack Dee’s Sunday Service, recorded in front of a live studio audience, It’s Only TV But I Like It (BBC1); Jack Dee’s Full Mountie (BBC1) and Jack Dee’s Happy Hour. As an actor Jack has appeared in The Ambassador (BBC1), Silent Witness (BBC1), The Grimleys (ITV1), Dalziel and Pascoe (BBC1), Jonathan Creek (BBC1), The Deputy (BBC1) and Tunnel of Love (ITV1). Jack has appeared on the big screen in Londinium, Spivs and, in 2006, The Last Drop and Short Order. His West End stage debut as an actor came in 1998 when he played the role of Yvan in the critically acclaimed production of Art at the Wyndhams Theatre; he later returned to play the part Serge in the same production.
Jack frequently takes his own special brand of live comedy out on tour, playing to packed audiences in some of the countries largest and leading theatres.
When his packed diary allows he is in great demand for providing the humour at corporate functions, whether giving out awards or delivering his comedy set of specially tailored material.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
Some reviews of Jack Dee
Jack prepared material especially for our Awards event, executed it in his inimitable style and kept the pace of the evening moving along perfectly. And the audience thought he was brilliant.