He was humble Lee Gordon McKillop, born above a pub in Southport, before abandoning his roots as a stableboy (genuinely) and bingo caller for the vol-au-vent-gobbling world of showbiz.
Always an attention seeker, Lee channelled his love of making groups of strangers titter into the less than glitzy life of a Pontin’s blue coat, before getting his marching orders after displaying a pro comic’s knack for heckler crushing (sadly the c-word isn’t looked on fondly at holiday camps for kiddies).
His comedy career may have started with playground impressions of Bobby Ball, but he decided to take humour more seriously in the mid-90s, winning So You Think You’re Funny at Edinburgh before hooking up with a Camden Leisure Pirate and his jazz-loving buddy, in the shape of The Mighty Boosh. Mack never made it into the TV version, but he played a security guard on the radio series before landing his own corner of the airwaves and taking over from Nick Hancock on TV’s They Think It’s All Over.
The camera clearly loved his quick-witted gags, so much so he got his very own sitcom – Not Going Out – the true mark of a comic having arrived on the small screen. The perfect vehicle for Lee’s combination of chortlesome bangers and uncanny understanding of the work-shy, the sitcom was a proper prime-time hit, winning a satchel’s worth of shiny awards and aiding the Beeb’s decision to give Lee a team captain’s armband on the most dishonest of quizcoms, Would I Lie To You? where he’s the resident working class hero to David Mitchelll’s Little Lord Fauntleroy.
Following the pattern of many a modern day comedy hero, Lee has repeatedly appeared on comedy panel shows and beefed up his Top Trumps points by guest starring on Jack Lee Live at the Apollo as well as guest hosting Have I Got News For You and Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Following in the footsteps of other greats like Michael McIntyre and urm, Diversity, Lee's also performed on the Royal Variety Show. Most recently, he fronted BBC's Lee Mack's All Star Cast which featured audience members competing in silly games for the chance to win a spot in a sketch show at the end of the programme.
Lee's stand up has a friendly effortlessness to it. While it's evident his shows are painstakingly crafted there is a definite neighbourly feel to it, as if you've just popped round for a BBQ and a few light laughs. Audiences can definitely breathe a little easier when watching Lee perform compared with other comics, as these days he's more likely to poke fun at himself than his audience. If you shipped him from the giddy heights of London's Apollo theatre to the end of Brighton Pier his jokes would fit right in. No nonsense, no angst ridden bitterness, just pure, unashamed belly laughs. Heck, I bet if you set up a stage in a library he'd be happier than a kid with a bag of Revels (without the coffee ones, obviously).
So no surprises really that Lee's main glory has come from a programme all about not going out. He definitely seems the type that would actually be quite happy sat alone, rattling off one liners, but luckily for us, he remembers to write them down and read them out in front of people. Result.
Away from the limelight, Lee's the proud father of two kids, Arlo and Louie, and lives in Hammersmith with his wife Tara. He's also a Blackburn Rovers supporter. Well, you can't get everything right in life, can you?