Lee Evans

Lee Evans

Birth name: Lee John Martin Evans
Born: February 25, 1964
Age: 60
Birthplace: Avonmouth, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
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Lee John Martin Evans (born 25 February 1964) is an English now retired comedian, writer, actor, and musician. He is a director of Little Mo Films, which he had co-directed with the late Addison Cresswell, who was also his agent prior to Cresswell's death in December 2013.

Evans has become one of Britain's highest selling stand-up comedians, with his "Roadrunner" tour grossing £12.9 million. He is also an established actor, appearing in many big budget films such as Mouse Hunt, There's Something About Mary, and The Fifth Element. In 2008, his "Big" tour DVD became the highest-selling Christmas DVD in the United Kingdom, as did his "Monsters" tour DVD in 2014.


Early life

Evans was born in Avonmouth, Bristol, the son of an Irish mother, Shirley Hunt, and a Welsh father, Dave Evans. He has an older brother, Wayne (born 1962). His father was a nightclub performer. His family left Bristol in 1975, moving to Essex, where he attended Billericay School and reportedly was the victim of bullies. After a spell as a boxer and two years at Thurrock Art College, also in Essex, Evans followed his father into entertainment. During his teenage years, he moved to Scarborough, North Yorkshire, and he was a drummer in a punk rock band called The Anonymous Five.


Stand-up comedy

Evans rose to fame during the 1990s with loud, hot, sweaty, energetic stage performances and physical observational comedy. His slapstick humour has led to comparisons with Sir Norman Wisdom, though Evans does not regard Wisdom as an influence. In his earlier work, he used a dysfunctional character called Malcolm to illustrate unusual characters. In 1993, he won the Perrier Comedy Award for his work at the Edinburgh Festival.

Evans' sweat drenches him on stage. During most of his headlining performances, he often takes an intermission, during which he has a quick shower and changes into a different suit. He has also said that his suits are regularly thrown away after three performances, mainly because of the sweat, with dry-cleaners refusing to handle them. In November 2005, Evans broke the world record for a solo act performing to the biggest comedy audience, performing to 10,108 people at the Manchester Arena.

Evans toured the UK in autumn 2008 with his stand-up act entitled "Big". During his "Big" tour he performed in front of over 500,000 people on 59 dates. This was scheduled to involve the first ever performance by a comedian at the O2 Arena in London until Chris Rock announced dates that would take place at the venue prior to Evans. The DVD was filmed at the O2 arena and was released on 24 November 2008 and it became the best selling comedy DVD in the UK for Christmas 2008 selling over 1,000,000 copies. Evans appeared on the Channel 4's Comedy Gala for Great Ormond Street Hospital on 30 March 2010. He was the last act on stage and he received a comedy award and auctioned it to the audience for charity.

Evans toured the UK again in 2011 with a new stand-up act entitled "Roadrunner", with 50 dates starting with Bournemouth in August, running until November in Cardiff. He appeared at the Wyvern Theatre, Swindon on 10 June to test his new material (reading from notes) for the "Roadrunner" tour. He then sold out Bristol's Colston Hall for 3 nights to perfect his routine in July. The tour visited most of the UK's major cities, plus two nights in Dublin, and included four nights in Wembley Arena and four in the O2 Arena, meaning around 100,000 seats in London alone. Tickets went on sale Friday 15 October 2010 at 9 am.

Evans sold £7,000,000 worth of tickets the first day they went on sale. Due to popular demand, there were a further 17 dates added to the tour in Bournemouth International Centre, Brighton Centre, Capital FM Arena, Wembley Arena, National Indoor Arena, The O2, Echo Arena, Motorpoint Arena, Odyssey Arena and The O2. This brought the tour up to 67 dates in 14 cities which is 8 more than the record breaking tour of 2008. In 2011, he was honoured by the British Comedy Awards with the Channel 4 award for special contribution to comedy.

Acting and other work

Evans has made a number of film appearances, most notably in Funny Bones, MouseHunt, There's Something About Mary (where he played an American posing as a Brit), The Fifth Element, The Ladies Man, The Martins, The Medallion and Undertaking Betty. Evans provided the voice for Zippo in the 2002 TV miniseries Dinotopia and Train in the 2005 film The Magic Roundabout. From 1993-94, Evans appeared in the Channel 4 late-night show Viva Cabaret!, both as a host and as a guest performer. In 1995, he starred in Channel 4 series, The World of Lee Evans. In 2001, he co-wrote and starred in the sitcom So What Now? for the BBC.

In 2004, he starred as a paranoid murder suspect in his first non-comic role in the film Freeze Frame. Although warned they may never grow back, he shaved his eyebrows (as well as his hair). In 2004, Evans appeared in Samuel Becket's Endgame, and from 2004 to 2005, he played Leo Bloom in the London production of The Producers along with Nathan Lane, with whom he also starred in MouseHunt. In 2007 he appeared in the 50th anniversary production of The Dumb Waiter. May 2007 saw him star in a television adaption of the book The History of Mr. Polly.

Evans is also a singer and musician, as shown on his arena tours. He can play the guitar, bass guitar, electronic keyboard, piano, mandolin, ukulele, and drums. He also has his own production company that produces his stand up DVDs called Little Mo Films, named after his daughter whom he often refers to as Little Mo. Evans appeared as Malcolm Taylor, a Welsh scientist, in the 2009 Doctor Who Easter special "Planet of the Dead". Between September 2013 and January 2014, Evans starred in the play Barking in Essex at London's Wyndham's Theatre.

Personal life

On 22 September 1984, he married Heather Nudds, with whom he has a daughter, Mollie (born December 1993). They moved to Billericay in 1997, having previously lived in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.

Evans was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University on 24 November 2009. This was followed by a second Doctorate from the University of East London on 9 December 2010 and is an Honorary Fellow of the Welsh College of Music and Drama.

In 2010 Evans ran the London Marathon with his friend Tony Grounds who wrote The Martins and finished in a time of 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 10 seconds. In 2009, Evans' nephew, Maxwell, died of a defective lung. 'He was an amazing little kid,' says Evans. 'He was funny, he was talented. He was one of us. When you go through that it changes you. He left behind a lot of joy and for me he made me feel I should never waste another day of my life. I think about little Max a lot of the time.'

In November 2014, Evans announced on The Jonathan Ross Show that he is retiring from stand-up comedy to spend more time with his wife Heather and daughter Mollie who is currently studying at university in Florida.


Tour data

Year Title Shows
1994 Live at Her Majesty's Theatre
1995 Live From The West End 1
1996 Different Planet Tour 116
1998 Don't Try This at Home
2002 Wired and Wonderful
2005 XL 29*
2008 Big 59*
2011 Roadrunner 67*
2014 Monsters 65*
  • Not including "Work in progress" shows.

Box office score data

Venue City Tickets Sold / Available Gross Revenue
The O2 London 88,037 / 93,432 (94%) £4,119,760
Manchester Arena Manchester 53,391 / 54,558 (98%) £2,567,080
The O2 Dublin 17,733 / 17,733 (100%) £861,649
TOTAL 159,161 / 165,723 (96%) £7,548,489

VHS/DVD releases

Year Title Venue
1994 Live at Her Majesty's Theatre Her Majesty's Theatre, London
1995 Live From The West End Lyric Theatre, London
1996 Live - Different Planet Tour
1998 Live in Scotland Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh
2002 Wired And Wonderful - Live at Wembley Wembley Arena, London
2005 XL Tour - Live International Arena, Cardiff
2008 Big - Live at the O2 The O2, London
2011 Roadrunner - Live at the O2
2014 Monsters - Live Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham



Year Title Role Notes
1995 The World of Lee Evans Lee Writer
1997 Brooms Can man
1998 Clair de Lune Pete
2001 So What Now? Lee Writer
2002 Dinotopia Zippo Voice
2007 The History of Mr Polly Alfred Polly
2007 The Dinner Party Leo
2009 Doctor Who Dr. Malcolm Taylor Episode: "Planet of the Dead"


Year Title Role Notes
1995 Funny Bones Jack Parker
1997 The Fifth Element Fog
1997 MouseHunt Lars Smuntz
1998 There's Something About Mary Norm ("Tucker")
2000 The Ladies Man Barney
2001 The Martins Robert Martin
2002 Plots with a View (a.k.a. Undertaking Betty) Delbert Butterfield
2003 Stealing Bess Toady
2003 The Medallion Arthur Watson
2004 Freeze Frame Sean Veil
2005 The Magic Roundabout Train Voice


Year Title Role
2004 Endgame Clov
2004-2005 The Producers Leo Bloom
2007 The Dumb Waiter Gus
2013-2014 Barking in Essex Darnley Packer

Accolades and awards

In 2010, Evans received an Honorary Doctorate of the Arts at the University of East London's graduation ceremony.

Awarding Body/Event Awarded
British Comedy Award
  • 2011 Outstanding Contribution to Comedy
Paris Film Festival
  • 1995 Best Actor for Funny Bones
Edinburgh Comedy Award
  • 1993 Perrier Award
Time Out Comedy Awards
  • 1992 for Achievement in Comedy

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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