Karen Dunbar

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Karen Dunbar
Born (1971-04-01) 1 April 1971 (age 45)
Glasgow, Scotland
Occupation Actress, comedian
Known for Chewin' the Fat
The Karen Dunbar Show
Happy Holidays
Commonwealth Games 2014
Website Official website

Karen Dunbar (born 1 April 1971 in Glasgow, Scotland) is a comedian and entertainer. She appeared in Chewin' the Fat and The Karen Dunbar Show.

Early life[edit]

Dunbar was born in Glasgow but moved to Ayr at young age. She first came to the attention of mainstream audiences in the BBC Scotland comedy series Chewin' the Fat and was subsequently given her own show by the channel, The Karen Dunbar Show.


In the late 90's and early 2000s, Karen Dunbar appeared regularly in the Scottish hit comedy show Chewin' the Fat.

In Christmas 2007, Dunbar made her first appearance in pantomime, at the King's Theatre in Glasgow, playing Nanny Begood in Sleeping Beauty. Further pantomime roles include the dual role of the Good Fairy and the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella (2008–09) and Widow Twankey in Aladdin (2009–10). She appeared as a critic on "Britain's Got More Talent" on 27 May 2008. She played the fairy godmother in Cinderella (2012–13) and appeared in the 2013-14 season as a new character, the Slave of the Ring, in Aladdin.

Also known as a comedy actress, she has tackled serious roles, most notably to date her performance in the poetic monologue A Drunk Woman Looks at the Thistle adapted by Denise Mina from Hugh MacDiarmid's poem, A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle.

In 2009, she starred in a 6-part series of the Scottish comedy Happy Hollidays.

In 2014 she was lead compère at the XX Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.

She is currently starring in Henry IV at the Donmar in London. Directed by Phyllida Lloyd.[citation needed]

Karen is also famous for performing Tam O'Shanter on Burns Nights every year.[citation needed]


Karen Dunbar attended Ayr Academy, a secondary school in Ayr.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Dunbar is a lesbian.[1][2][3][4] She featured on the Scotsman's "Pink List" of LGBT people contributing to Scotland's cultural life in 2014[5] and was awarded the Role Model of the Year award at the Icon Awards which celebrate Scotland's LGBTI community in 2015.[6] She spoke about her experiences of homophobia and the acceptance she found in Glasgow's LGBT community in a BBC documentary: "I Belong to Glasgow" screened in 2014.[7][8][9] She spoke in 2016 about her plans to marry her female partner.[10]

External links[edit]