Lee Mack

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Lee Mack
Lee Mack on Radio 4's 'Don't Make Me Laugh'.jpg
Mack at Radio 4's Don't Make Me Laugh in 2015
Born
Gordon Lee McKillop

(1968-08-04) 4 August 1968 (age 54)
Alma materBrunel University London
OccupationComedian, actor, presenter
Years active1994–present
Known for
Spouse
Tara Savage
(m. 2005)
Children3
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Gordon Lee McKillop (born 4 August 1968),[2] known by his stage name Lee Mack, is an English comedian, actor, podcaster and presenter. He is known for his quick wit, writing and starring in the sitcom Not Going Out, being a team captain on the BBC One comedy panel show Would I Lie to You?, hosting the Sky One panel show Duck Quacks Don't Echo, presenting the panel show They Think It's All Over, and hosting Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof (2022–) alongside Holly Willoughby. He has also been a guest host on Have I Got News for You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks, a guest captain on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, and a guest panellist on QI. In 2021, he made his debut on the BBC Radio 4 panel game I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. In 2022, he began hosting the ITV game-show, The 1% Club.

Early life[edit]

Mack was born on 4 August 1968 in Southport, now a part of Merseyside.[3] He lived above a pub until he was 12, when his parents separated.[4] He went to Birkdale Primary Junior School (Bury Road), Stanley High School in Southport, and Everton High School in Blackburn.[5][6] On leaving school, Mack worked in a bingo hall and as a stable boy. After working at the stable of racehorse trainer Ginger McCain in Southport for three days, he asked if he could ride one of the horses, to which the trainer agreed. Without realising, Mack then chose Red Rum as the first horse he would ride.[4][7]

Mack then became a Blue Coat entertainer at the Pontins holiday resort at Hemsby in Norfolk. He was sacked after appearing on stage drunk one night, forgetting a joke and insulting an audience member.[8][9] He then worked for six months at Pontins in Morecambe.[4]

Mack went on to have various other jobs, and performed his first "open mic" slot in 1994, while studying at Brunel University, from where he graduated with a degree in Drama.[10] Within 18 months he was a full-time comedian.[4]

Career[edit]

Mack first came to prominence by winning So You Think You're Funny at the 1995 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Five years later at the festival, he was nominated for the Perrier Award Main Prize for his sketch comedy show, Lee Mack's New Bits, with Catherine Tate and Dan Antopolski. Since then, Mack has played the part of Graham, the security guard in the original radio version of The Mighty Boosh, and also has his own radio show on BBC Radio 2 called The Lee Mack Show, which features varying celebrities co-hosting the show.

Television[edit]

Mack was a cast member for ITV's The Sketch Show[4] and featured in the American show of the same name.

In 2005, Mack presented They Think It's All Over, a sports-based comedy panel game, formerly presented by Nick Hancock.[4] However, it proved to be the show's final series.[4] In 2007 he appeared on TV Heaven, Telly Hell.

His first sitcom Not Going Out for BBC One with Tim Vine (in which he plays Lee, the leading man) premiered on 6 October 2006. The show has since returned for ten more series, the most recent airing in 2022. The show has won a Rose d'Or and RTS Award.

Since 2007 Mack has been a team captain on the BBC One comedy panel show Would I Lie to You?.[4] He has also been guest host on Have I Got News for You six times, and was twice guest host on Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Mack has appeared on Live at the Apollo and 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, where he is the current Carrot in a Box champion.

In June 2011, Mack launched a new show, Lee Mack's All Star Cast, for BBC One. It features members of the audience taking part in silly games to get a spot in a sketch at the end of the show.[11] In June 2012, Mack was one of the compères at Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in London, introducing Cliff Richard, Ed Sheeran, and Madness.

In March 2013, Mack appeared on the panel on an episode of Let's Dance for Comic Relief with Arlene Phillips and Greg James.[12]

From 2014 to 2017, Mack presented Duck Quacks Don't Echo, a comedy-based panel show for Sky1, with various celebrity guests.

In 2018, Mack appeared in the Doctor Who episode "Kerblam!".[13]

In June 2020, Mack announced his new sitcom, Semi-Detached. He was also set to host a reality show named The Chop: Britain's Best Woodworker for Sky History. However, the show was suspended shortly after its debut in October 2020, after allegations emerged that one of the series' contestants, promoted through the channel's social media pages, bore facial tattoos resembling Nazi symbolism.[14] Semi-Detached was cancelled after one season.[15]

Mack was on series 11 of Taskmaster, which started broadcast in March 2021.[16]

Mack is currently presenting two new shows in 2022: Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof on BBC One - alongside Holly Willoughby and Wim Hof,[17] and The 1% Club, on ITV.[18] The 1% Club was renewed for a second series.[19]

In June 2022, Mack was one of the compères at the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Platinum Party at the Palace, introducing Jax Jones and Diana Ross.

On 8 November 2022, it was announced that he would be hosting that year's Royal Variety Performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Podcast[edit]

Mack has long had an interest in Buddhism, mindfulness and the possibility of leading a more spiritual life. Since September 2020 he has hosted a podcast on Buddhism and mindfulness with Neil Webster called I Can't Believe It's Not Buddha.[20]

Stand-up[edit]

Career[edit]

Mack went on tour in 2006 and filmed his first live DVD at the Bloomsbury Theatre, which was released the following year. In spring 2010 Mack embarked on his "Going Out" tour. Extra dates were added for autumn 2010 due to his spring tour being sold out well in advance. Going Out Live, his second live DVD, was filmed at the Hammersmith Apollo and was released in November. In December 2010 he performed at the Royal Variety Performance.[21]

In 2010, Mack took part in Channel 4's Comedy Gala, a benefit show held in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, filmed live at the O2 Arena in London on 30 March.

Solo tours[edit]

Year Title Notes
2006-2007 Lee Mack Live First solo tour, 89 dates
2010 Going Out Live 130 dates
2014 Hit the Road Mack 94 dates

Group tours[edit]

Year Title Notes
2019 Brydon, Mack & Mitchell: Town to Town 15 dates
2022 Brydon, Mack & Mitchell: Town to Town 21 dates

Personal life[edit]

Mack met Tara McKillop during his time studying at Brunel University in 1996. They married in 2005, and they live in East Molesey, Surrey with their three children,[22] including their son, Arlo, who briefly appeared in the 2013 Christmas special of Not Going Out. He is a vegan.[23] Mack is of distant part Irish descent, which was explored in the 2018 season of the British television programme, Who Do You Think You Are?[24] While on the show, Mack found that his great-grandfather was a jobbing comic named William Alexander McKillop, who used the stage name Billy Mac. He also learned that his grandfather Joe was born in Southport, but was brought to Ireland as a baby and brought up by his grandparents in Ballina, County Mayo.[25]

In February 2009, Mack, along with other British entertainers, signed an open letter to The Times regarding the Baháʼí Faith leaders then on trial in Iran.[26]

Mack said in an interview with The Guardian[27] that his first foray into comedy was doing Bobby Ball impressions at his school when he was 15. Ball would go on to play Mack's father, Frank in Not Going Out. Mack is a keen supporter of Blackburn Rovers and occasionally visits Ewood Park to watch games.[28] At one point, he shared a flat with Noel Fielding.

In July 2012, Mack received an honorary doctorate from Brunel University.[29] He published his autobiography Mack the Life (ISBN 0-552-16655-3).

Mack is a darts fan, and regularly plays with his friend and former Not Going Out co-star, Tim Vine. Both men appeared on the debut series of Let's Play Darts, facing each other in the final, with Mack and his partner Martin Adams beating Vine and his partner Darryl Fitton. Mack held two Guinness World Records titles relating to darts. The first was for the most darts number twos in one minute, which stood until 19 November 2020 when Ricky Evans broke the record with a total of 25.[30] Mack had also, on the same day of the first record, broken the record for the most darts in inner and outer bullseyes in one minute; that title was held for a year and two months, before it was broken on 23 September 2016 by professional darts player James Wade.[31][32]

In a 2015 interview with The Big Issue, Mack stated that he adheres to "left-of-centre" political leanings.[33]

Mack has been alcohol-free since 2016, and is an ambassador for Alcohol Concern.[34]

Mack has a phobia of flying, and travels by himself to holiday destinations. He travelled by train to Barcelona. He went around the world for Children in Need in 2009 with some other celebrities; however, he and Frank Skinner did not fly to Turkey. Mack said because the day he went home was his wife's birthday, he could not get the train back. He went on a flying course, which briefly helped for the flight home; however, he has not been on another plane since.[35]

Mack has taken part in several Soccer Aid matches to raise money for UNICEF. In September 2021, he scored for the first time,[36] in a year that he played for the World XI team, due to his Irish heritage of his great-grandmother, which wouldn't be allowed under FIFA rules. On 12 June 2022, Mack returned for the following game at the London Stadium, and scored the winning penalty for the World XI after a 2–2 draw in normal time.[37][38]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
2019 Horrible Histories: The Movie – Rotten Romans[39] Decimus
Television
Year Show Role Notes
1997–1998 Gas Himself
1999, 2005–2006 They Think It's All Over Panellist and later Host 1 episode as panellist; host of Series 19 and 2006 specials
2001–2004 The Sketch Show Lee
2005–2010 Live at the Apollo Himself 3 episodes (1 as guest; 2 as host)
2005–2008 8 Out of 10 Cats Panellist 7 episodes
2006–present Not Going Out Lee
2007–present Would I Lie to You? Regular team captain
2008 Thank God You're Here Himself 2 episodes
2008–2018 Have I Got News for You Guest presenter 6 episodes
2009–2021 QI Panellist 8 episodes
2010, 2012 Never Mind the Buzzcocks Guest presenter 2 episodes
2011 Lee Mack's All Star Cast Host
2013, 2015–2018 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown Guest team captain 10 episodes
2014–2017 Duck Quacks Don't Echo Host
2014 The Smiths Michael Smith Pilot
The Feeling Nuts Comedy Night Himself
2015 Let's Play Darts Competitor Won the show
Officially Amazing[32] Guest
2016, 2022 Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Guest announcer
2018 Top Gear Guest 1 episode
Doctor Who Dan Cooper 1 episode; Kerblam!
2019 Semi-Detached Stuart 7 episodes
Comedians Watching Football With Friends[40] Himself 1 episode
2021 Taskmaster Contestant 10 episodes
Murder, They Hope Willy Watkins 1 episode; "Dales of the Unexpected"
2022 Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof[17] Co-host
2022–present The 1% Club[18] Host
Stand-up DVDs
Title Released Notes Ratings when Televised TV Channel
Live 26 November 2007 Live at London's Bloomsbury Theatre 0.95 Channel 4
Going Out Live 22 November 2010 Live at London's HMV Hammersmith Apollo 1.03 BBC One
Hit The Road Mack 24 November 2014 1.26 Channel 4

Awards and nominations[edit]

BAFTA TV Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2002 The Sketch Show Best Comedy Programme or Series Won
2019 Lee Mack for Would I Lie to You? Best Entertainment Performance Won
2020 Nominated

British Comedy Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2001 Lee Mack for The Sketch Show Best Comedy Newcomer Nominated
2006 Lee Mack Best Live Stand Up Tour Nominated
2007 Lee Mack for Not Going Out Best TV Comedy Actor Nominated
Not Going Out Best New TV Comedy Nominated
2012 Lee Mack Best Male Television Comic Won
King or Queen of Comedy Nominated
2013 Lee Mack Best Male Television Comic Won
King or Queen of Comedy Nominated
2014 Lee Mack Best Male Television Comic Won
King or Queen of Comedy Nominated
Lee Mack for Would I Lie to You? Best Comedy Moment Nominated

RTS Television Awards

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2007 Not Going Out Breakthrough Award – Behind The Screen Won

Rose d'Or

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2007 Not Going Out Sitcom Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lee Mack". Desert Island Discs. 29 September 2013. BBC Radio 4. Archived from the original on 29 September 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ British Conedy Guide [@BritishComedy] (4 August 2018). "Lee Mack a 50 today. Wishing him a very happy birthday" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Armstrong, Stephen (9 January 2005). "Comedy: This stand-up's got legs". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Maxwell, Dominic (24 November 2007). "Mack on the Attack". The Times Magazine. London. Archived from the original on 16 June 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2008.
  5. ^ Mayoh, Emma (5 May 2010). "Comedian Lee Mack confesses Southport fear". Lancashire Life. Archived from the original on 23 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Return of the Mack as Not Going Out returns". Lancashire Telegraph. Newsquest (North West). 5 January 2011. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  7. ^ "The 10 most surprising truths on 'Would I Lie to You?'". Radio Times. 9 September 2016. Archived from the original on 17 February 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Bunch of Kents". Chortle. 30 November 2007. Archived from the original on 5 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  9. ^ "Lee Mack's Joke Leaves John Cleese In Near Tears". The Graham Norton Show, BBC. 9 March 2020. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  10. ^ Mack, Lee (2012). Mack The Life. Bantam Press. ISBN 978-0593069424.
  11. ^ "Lee Mack and Penn & Teller ratings soar as Marriage Ref fails to impress". Metro. 19 June 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Lets Dance for Comic Relief – Series 5 – Episode 3". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 7 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
  13. ^ Tobin, Christian (4 November 2018). "Doctor Who series 11 episodes 7 and 8 feature the galaxy's biggest shop and 17th-century witch trials". Digital Spy.
  14. ^ The Chop reality TV contest taken off air while contestant's face tattoos are investigated Radio Times. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 20 October 2020.
  15. ^ Brazier, Tori (18 June 2021). "Lee Mack's sitcom axed by the BBC". metro.co.uk. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Taskmaster series 11 line up". Twitter. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  17. ^ a b Amin, Meghna (29 March 2022). "Freeze the Fear: Holly Willoughby squirms in trailer for BBC's iciest show". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  18. ^ a b Darvill, Josh (30 March 2022). "The 1% Club: Lee Mack to front new ITV quiz show". TellyMix.co.uk. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  19. ^ "The 1% Club with Lee Mack renewed for second series on ITV". 27 April 2022.
  20. ^ "Lee Mack launches new podcast on Buddhism and mindfulness". Radio X (United Kingdom).
  21. ^ Simon, Jane (16 December 2010). "Royal Variety Performance". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  22. ^ Clarke, Chloe (28 December 2021). "The comedian and Not Going Out star who calls Surrey home". Getsssurrey.co.uk. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  23. ^ "The Lure of the Treacle Puppies". Taskmaster. Series 11. Episode 2. 25 March 2021. Event occurs at 41:54. Lee is also correct, he is a vegan...
  24. ^ "You are being redirected..." ireland-calling.com. 13 September 2020.
  25. ^ "Lee Mack". Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. Retrieved 2 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Stand up for Iran's Baha'is – Voices from the arts call for the imprisoned Baha'i leaders in Iran to receive a fair trial". The Times. London. 26 February 2009. Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  27. ^ Hodgson, Michelle (31 January 2009). "My family values". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  28. ^ Clough, Dan (15 April 2014). "East Lancs comedian Lee Mack in hunt for old Blackburn pub sign". Lancashire Telegraph. Newsquest Media Group. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  29. ^ "Comedian Lee Mack awarded honorary degree by Brunel University". Brunel University London. 27 July 2012. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  30. ^ "Most darts number twos in one minute". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  31. ^ "Most darts in inner and outer bullseyes in one minute". Guinness World Records. 17 July 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  32. ^ a b "Most darts number twos in one minute". Guinness World Records. 17 July 2015. Archived from the original on 25 September 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  33. ^ Lobb, Adrian (17 June 2015). "Lee Mack: "Like most of the nation, I'm a bit addicted to drinking"". The Big Issue. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  34. ^ "Lee Mack nearly cancelled 'Not Going Out' over alcohol advertising — here's why". Thedrinksbusiness.com. 27 February 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  35. ^ Macpherson, Jon (26 January 2021). "Lee Mack scared of flying he sends wife and kids on plane and drives to holidays". Lancs.live. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  36. ^ Gohil, Neha (4 September 2021). "Fans confused as Lee Mack is in World XI after scoring sensational goal". MyLondon.com. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  37. ^ "Lee Mack reveals what motivated him to return to Soccer Aid this year". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  38. ^ "Who won ITV Soccer Aid and what was the final score?". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 14 June 2022.
  39. ^ "Big screen adaptation of the best-selling family franchise is set for UK and Irish cinemas on 26th July 2019". BBC Films.
  40. ^ "Comedians Watching Football With Friends". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 19 February 2019.

External links[edit]