Lee Evans (comedian)
Lee Evans in 2004 outside the Metro Radio Arena
25 February 1964 |
Avonmouth, Bristol, England
|Spouse||Heather Nudds (m. 1984–present)|
Evans was born in Avonmouth, Bristol, the son of an Irish mother, Shirley, and a Welsh father, Dave Evans. His father was a nightclub performer. He left Bristol at the age of 11 and then went to the Billericay School in Billericay, Essex. After a spell as a boxer and two years at Thurrock Art College in Essex, Evans followed his father into entertainment. During his teenage years, he moved to Scarborough, North Yorkshire, and he was the drummer in a punk rock band called The Forgotten Five.
Evans rose to fame during the 1990s with loud, hot, sweaty, energetic stage performances and physical observational comedy. His slapstick humour has led to comparisons with Norman Wisdom, though Evans does not regard Wisdom as an influence. In his earlier work, he used a dysfunctional character called Malcolm to illustrate unusual characters. In 1993, Evans won the Perrier Comedy Award for his work at the Edinburgh Festival.
Evans' sweat drenches him on stage. During most of his headlining performances, he often takes an intermission, during which he has a quick shower and changes into a different suit. He has also said that his suits are regularly thrown away after three performances, mainly because of the sweat, with dry-cleaners refusing to handle them. In November 2005, Evans broke the world record for a solo act performing to the biggest comedy audience, performing to 10,108 people at the Manchester Arena.
Evans toured the UK in autumn 2008 with his stand-up act entitled "Big". During his "Big" tour he performed in front of over 500,000 people on 59 dates. This was scheduled to involve the first ever performance by a comedian at the O2 Arena in London until Chris Rock announced dates that would take place at the venue prior to Evans. The DVD was filmed at the O2 arena and was released on 24 November 2008 and it became the best selling comedy DVD in the UK for Christmas 2008 selling over 1,000,000 copies. Evans also appeared on the Channel 4's Comedy Gala for Great Ormond Street Hospital on 30 March 2010. He was the last act on stage and he received a comedy award and auctioned it to the audience.
Evans toured the UK again in 2011 with a new stand-up act entitled "Roadrunner", with 50 dates starting with Bournemouth in August, running until November in Cardiff. He appeared at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon on 10 June to test his new material (reading from notes) for the "Roadrunner" tour. He then sold out Bristol's Colston Hall for 3 nights to perfect his routine in July. The tour visited most of the UK’s major cities, plus two nights in Dublin in Ireland, and included four nights in Wembley Arena and four in the O2 Arena, meaning around 100,000 seats in London alone. Tickets went on sale Friday 15 October 2010 at 9 am. Evans sold £7,000,000 worth of tickets the first day they went on sale. Due to popular demand, there were a further 17 dates added to the tour in Bournemouth International Centre, Brighton Centre, Capital FM Arena, Wembley Arena, National Indoor Arena, The O2, Echo Arena, Motorpoint Arena, Odyssey Arena and The O2 (Dublin). This brought the tour up to 67 dates in 14 cities which is 8 more than the record breaking tour of 2008. In 2011, he was honoured by the British Comedy Awards with the Channel 4 award for special contribution to comedy.
Acting and other work
Evans has made a number of film appearances, most notably in Funny Bones, MouseHunt, There's Something About Mary (where he played an American posing as a Brit), The Fifth Element, The Ladies Man, The Martins, The Medallion and Undertaking Betty. Evans also provided the voice for Zippo in the 2002 TV miniseries Dinotopia and Train in the 2005 film The Magic Roundabout.
From 1993 to 1994, Evans appeared in the Channel 4 late-night show Viva Cabaret!, both as a host and as a guest performer. In 1995, Evans starred in Channel 4 series, The World of Lee Evans. In 2001, he wrote a sitcom called So What Now?. In 2004, he starred as a paranoid murder suspect in his first non-comic role in the film Freeze Frame. Although warned they may never grow back, he shaved his eyebrows (as well as his hair). In 2004, Lee appeared in Samuel Becket's Endgame, and from 2004 to 2005, he played Leo Bloom in the London production of The Producers along with Nathan Lane, with whom he also starred in MouseHunt. In 2007 he appeared in the 50th anniversary production of The Dumb Waiter. May 2007 saw him star in a television adaption of the book The History of Mr. Polly.
Evans is also a singer and musician, as shown on his arena tours. He can play the guitar, bass guitar, electronic keyboard, piano, mandolin, ukulele, and drums. He also has his own production company that produces his stand up DVDs called Little Mo Films, named after his daughter whom he often refers to as Little Mo. Evans appeared as Malcolm Taylor, a Welsh scientist, in the 2009 Doctor Who Easter special "Planet of the Dead". In September 2013, Lee will star in the play Barking in Essex at London's Wyndham's Theatre.
On 22 September 1984, he married Heather Nudds with whom he has a daughter, Mollie (born 1993). They moved to Billericay in 1997, having previously lived in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. Evans was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University on 24 November 2009. This was followed by a second Doctorate from the University of East London on 9 December 2010 and is an honorary fellow of the Welsh college of music and drama. In 2010 Lee ran the London Marathon and finished in a time of 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 10 seconds.
|1996||Same World, Different Planet 114|
|1998||Lee Evans Live|
|2002||Wired and Wonderful|
Box office score data
|Venue||City||Tickets Sold / Available||Gross Revenue|
|The O2 Arena||London||88,037 / 93,432 (94%)||$4,119,760|
|Manchester Arena||Manchester||53,391 / 54,558 (98%)||$2,567,080|
|The O2||Dublin||17,733 / 17,733 (100%)||$861,649|
|TOTAL||159,161 / 165,723 (96%)||$7,548,489|
|1994||Live At Her Majesty's Theatre||Her Majesty's Theatre, London|
|1995||Live From The West End||Lyric Theatre, London|
|1996||Live – Different Planet Tour|
|1998||Live In Scotland||Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh|
|2002||Wired And Wonderful – Live At Wembley||Wembley Arena, London|
|2005||XL Tour 2005 – Live||International Arena, Cardiff|
|2008||Big – Live at the O2||The O2 Arena, London|
|2011||Roadrunner – Live at the O2|
|2014||Monsters – Live at the O2|
|1995||The World of Lee Evans||Lee|
|1995||Clair de Lune||Pete|
|2001||So What Now?||Lee||Writer|
|2007||The History of Mr Polly||Alfred Polly|
|2007||The Dinner Party||Leo|
|2009||Doctor Who||Dr. Malcolm Taylor||Episode: "Planet of the Dead"|
|1995||Funny Bones||Jack Parker|
|1997||The Fifth Element||Fog|
|1998||There's Something About Mary||Norm ("Tucker")|
|2000||The Ladies Man||Barney|
|2001||The Martins||Robert Martin|
|2002||Plots with a View||Delbert Butterfield|
|2003||The Medallion||Arthur Watson|
|2004||Freeze Frame||Sean Veil|
|2005||The Magic Roundabout||Train||Voice|
|2004–2005||The Producers||Leo Bloom|
|2007||The Dumb Waiter||Gus|
|2013||Barking in Essex||Darnley|
- "Lee Evans I". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- Cook, William (30 August 2001). "No more crying for this clown". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6zEtZNBSD8#t=07m50s Lee Evans on "Opie and Anthony"
- "Lee Evans Biography (1964–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- White, Jim (27 January 1996). "Oooh, er, cripes". The Independent (UK). Retrieved 28 April 2008.
- 'All I've ever felt on stage is pain', Daily Telegraph, 25 October 2004, "I saw his films as a kid. It surprises me because if you watch my act it's nothing like his really."
- "if.comedy – Past winners.". if.comedy. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "Lee Evans Interview". Daily Mirror (UK). 31 October 2007. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "Comic Evans breaks crowd record". BBC News. 20 November 2005. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "Lee Evans : Big On Tour 2008". Leeevansbigtour.co.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "Lee's Big achievement: News 2008". Chortle.co.uk. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "Lee Evans sells a million DVDs". Chortle.co.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "Lee Evans to Tour again in 2011". Chortle.co.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "Lee Evans announces extra tour dates". Leeevans2011tour.co.uk. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
- "All Aboard For Next Special!". BBC Doctor Who Website. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2009.
- "Lee Evans and Sheila Hancock star in new stage comedy". bbc.co.uk. BBC News. 30 November 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "Lee Evans 2005 Interview".[dead link]
- "Lee Evans (I) – Biography". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 February 2008.
- "Essex comedian Lee Evans to get honorary degree". thisistotalessex.co.uk. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
- "Current Boxscore". billboard.biz. 2011-11-12. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "Current Boxscore". billboard.biz. 2012-01-26. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- "Current Boxscore". billboard.biz. 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
- Lee Evans Roadrunner 2011 UK & Ireland Tour Website (Official 2011 Tour website)
- Lee Evans at Off The Kerb Productions (Official website)
- Lee Evans at the British Film Institute
- 'Pinter? You've got to have fun with it'
- Lee Evans at the Internet Movie Database