The Making of a Comedian

Jack Dee was born on 24 September 1962 in Petts Wood, Orpington, Kent. He is the youngest of three children, with an older brother and sister. Jack was brought up in the Itchen Valley in Winchester where his dad worked as an executive in a printing company.

He attended local state school, Montgomery of Alamein, which by his own admission he hated, before moving on to Peter Symonds College to take his A levels, where he achieved a D grade and an F grade in the two he took.

After finishing at college, Jack got a job as a waiter at a local hotel before moving onto a French restaurant and starting to climb up the management ladder. Various jobs in the catering industry followed, including a stint in the Ritz hotel as a waiter. During this time Jack also considered a career in the priesthood but decided that the clergy wasn’t for him after seeking advice from a local rector.

By the age of 21 Jack was working as a manager of a pizza restaurant in Covent Garden where, surrounded by a staff made up of aspiring actors and performers, he realised he wanted to have a career on stage.

1986 was to prove to be a seminal year for Jack Dee. Firstly, he met his wife Jane when he was working as a waiter in Fulham and she was working at a nearby hotel. The couple are still together, have four children, 2 girls and twin boys and live in South West London.

Secondly, on 23 September 1986, Jack Dee took part in an open mike spot at the Comedy Store performing 5 minutes of his own material. It was his first gig and was enough of a success that he was asked to come back the following week.

From that first open mike spot, Jack like many stand up comedians before him travelled the country to perform gigs, polishing his deadpan, solemn style which is so widely recognised and enjoyed today.

His big break came in 1991 when he both won the Top Stage Newcomer Award at the British Comedy Awards and was nominated for the Perrier Comedy Award, narrowly losing out to Frank Skinner.

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