Click on a name below to take you to that page
I met Lee Evans after I had been to see him at the Glee Club in Nottingham in January 2011. He was there to try out new material, and I told him how much I'd enjoyed his performance. He signed a dvd for me and also my autograph book. He was very happy to let me have a couple of photographs taken with him.
Lee Evans was born in Bristol in 1964. His father Dave Evans was a singer, musician and comic who toured clubs and holiday camps, an erratic career which meant that Lee and his brother went to many different schools. The family later settled on a council estate in Billericay, Essex where Lee attended the local secondary school. He achieved little at school, tried his hand at boxi
boxing, did two years at art school, and later followed his father into entertainment, which included a spell as the drummer in a punk rock band called The Forgotten Five.
His early attempts at comedy were a disaster. At his first gig, he was taken to hospital by ambulance after a heckler threw a fire extinguisher at him which hit him on the head and knocked him out! For four years he played venues ranging from The Comedy Store to workingmens' clubs.
Lee Evans Live in Scotland (1998)
Lee Evans Big (2008)
His big breakthrough came in 1993 at the Edinburgh Festival where he won the Perrier Comedy Award. During
Lee Evans XL Live (2005)
His fame grew as dvds of his shows appeared, the first being Live at Her Majesty's Theatre in 1994 followed by Live
During the mid-1990s, he became famous for his highly energetic performances. In fact, one of his trademarks is his profuse sweating - so much so, that he takes breaks to shower and change into different suits which soon become visibally wet through.
Lee Evans XL Live (2005)
Lee Evans talks about his comedy
Another suit becomes wet through!
On stage, Lee resembles a mixture of Norman Wisdom and Michael Crawford's 'Frank Spencer' character, although he denies that theses comedians were influences.
Live from the West End (1995), Live at London's Lyric Theatre (1996) and
and Live in Scotland (1998).
In 2002, Lee Evans (nicknamed 'Monkey Boy') played over 100 dates on his Wired & Won
Wonderful national tour culminating in two sold-out nights in London's Wembley Arena.
Lee Evans has signed my
Three years later came the XL Tour 2005 Live when Evans set out on a UK tour, taking in 35 cities, and playing to more than a quarter of a million fans. During this tour he b
he broke the world record for a solo act performing to the biggest comedy audience, when his audience totalled 10,108 people at the Manchester Arena in November 2005
After another three years, Evans went even bigger, with his Big Tour 2008 - 59 dates in the UK's biggest arenas, this time playing to half a million fans.
Access All Arenas dvd
Evans will tour the UK again in 2011 with his brand new stand-up show called Roadrunner, with 61 dates in 14 cities, 2 more than the record breaking tour of 2008.
Lee Evans performs in front of huge Arena audiences
Lee Evans at Wembley Arena in 2002
2008. £7million worth of tickets were sold on the first day they went on sale!
Much of Lee's comedy is based on his own observations, from which his stage shows emerge. He is a perfectionist who goes to great lengths to refine the material he uses for his shows. He even tries out new material with small audiences at the Glee Clubs in Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham, which is where I saw him perform.
Part of his act is 'The Lee Evans Trio', which consists of just him on a darkened stage, in a spotlight, miming to a recording of instrumental sound. The spotlight goes out, only to reappear
reappear in another location, to which Evans has moved during the blackout, and where he is now miming playing a different instrument. He mimes in three locations, with an imaginary drum kit, double bass and piano.
Evans is also known for performing music skits, usually his world-famous mime to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, at the end of his gigs.
Lee Evans is, in fact, an accomplished singer and musician as can be seen on his XL Live Tour
Lee miming the piano in The Lee Evans Trio
Lee Evans sings at the piano with choir backing
Lee Evans mimes to Bohemian Rhapsody
(above) Lee Evans with ukelele
(left) Lee Evans at the piano
Tour 2005 dvd. He plays a number of instruments well, including the guitar, mandolin, ukelele, electronic keyboard, piano, double bass & drums.
Lee Evans has also appeared in a number of films although, with his characteristic modesty, he doesn't regard himself as a good actor. His big-screen debut was in the Blackpool-filmed Funny Bones (1995) opposite Jerry Lewis. Whilstnotaboxofficesuccess
Lee Evans as Jack Parker in Funny Bones
Whilst not a box office success, it did lead to a cameo role in the sci-fi film The Fifth Element (1997).
Lee Evans as Fog in The Fifth Element
Then came a starring role in the hilarious slapstick comedy MouseHunt (1997). In this Lee Evans plays Lars Smuntz who,
Nathan Lane & Lee Evans in the slapstick comedy MouseHunt
Lee Evans as Lars Smuntz in MouseHunt
who, along with his brother Ernie (Nathan Lane), try (unsuccessfully!) to get rid of a mouse from their inherited old house which they want to sell.
The Golden Globe-nominated comedy There's Something About Mary (1998) saw Lee Evans in the role of the architect Tucker, one of three men infatuated with the Mary (Cameron Diaz) of the title.
With Christopher Walken in Undertaking Betty
Lee in There's Something About Mary
Kathy Burke & Lee Evans in The Martins
Lee Evans in The Ladies' Man
Lee Evans showed he could also play non-comedy roles in the excellent British thriller Freeze Frame (2004) in which he stars as Sean Veil, a murder suspect who takes to filming himself roundt
round the clock to provide an alibi, just in case he's ever accused
Lee Evans as Watson in Medallion
accused of another crime. Evans shaved his head and eyebrows for the film, despite being warned that his eyebrows may not grow back again.
Lee Evans as Sean Veil in Freeze Frame
In the theatre, Lee Evans played Clov in Samuel Beckett's Endgame, which co-starred Michael Gambon, ath
at the West End's Albery Theatre in 2004. Soon afterwards he took the role of Leo Bloom
Bloom in the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane production of the Mel Brooks musical The Producers (2004-05) alongside Nathan
Lee Evans & Michael Gambon in Endgame
Nathan Lane, his co-star in the film MouseHunt.
Lee Evans in The Producers
Nathan Lane & Lee Evans in The Producers
Another notable stage role for Lee came in 2007 when he appeared as Gus in Harold Pinter's play The Dumb Waiter with Jason Isaacss
Isaacs at the Trafalgar Studios. Although the play runs for less than an hour, Lee Evans' performance was described as 'brilliantly effective' by The Times reviewer.
Jason Isaacs as Ben & Lee Evans as Gus
in The Dumb Waiter
On TV, Lee Evans was first seen in an unsuccessful series reminiscent of 'Mr Bean', The World of Lee Evans (1995), which was axed after only four episodes.
He has been a guest presenter on Top of the Pops (1995); and a guest on The Clive James Show (1998); The
The Paul O'Grady Show (2005) and Richard & Judy (2007).
Lee has also appeared on Parkinson in 2001.
The World of Lee Evans
In The World of Lee Evans
With Phil Daniels in
In the TV movie The Dinner Party (2007) with Alison Steadman, Lee Evans and Jessie Wallace play a young couple who move from North London to a suburb
Jessie Wallace & Lee Evans in The Dinner Party
suburban home in the South of England.
Lee Evans is interviewed on Parkinson
In 2009, Lee Evans was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University for his "outstanding talents as a musician, writer and character actor". The following year, he was awarded another Honorary Doctorate, this time by the University of East London.
...each give an Honorary Doctorate to Lee Evans
University of East London...
Anglia Ruskin University...
Lee Evans met his wife, Heather, when he was 16. They married in 1984 and have a daughter Mollie (b. 1994).
Lee Evans has his own production company, Little Mo Films, to produce his stand-up DVDs for Universal. It is named after his daughter whom he often calls 'Little Mo'.
Lee has signed my autograph book for me
More films (all comedies) followed. These included The Ladies' Man (2000); The Martins (2001); Undertaking Betty (also called Plots with aviewwww
a View) (2002) and Vacuums (2003). In the action comedy Medallion (2003) with Jackie Chan, Evans plays an Interpol agent Arthur Watson.