Mr Ken Dee
Ken was born in Airdrie, Scotland where he started his career as a keyboard player in a local band. He then moved to Bournemouth and took part in the England Entertains talent competition at the Bournemouth International Centre where his rendition of Shirley Bassey’s I Who Have Nothing won him first place.
Since then he has never looked back!
Kens female impersonations have taken him through the club and hotel circuit throughout the UK, sharing the bill with top personalities and comedians such as Jimmy Jones, Bernard Manning, and Roy Chubby Brown. He has also appeared in cabaret within Europe including the Canary Islands and mainland Spain. He soon created a cabaret show entitled Mr ken Dee & Company where Ken was joined by Jason Jay and Marc Valentine. This new concept gave the audiences a real theatrical experience and a highly polished variety show which received fabulous reviews.
Ken diversified from his female impersonations into straight singing creating the Showbiz Duo which also enjoyed great success.
Ken found himself training at Weymouth College in all aspects of the theatre and got involved in productions including Hiawatha, The Miser, Chicago, and Our Country’s Good. At that time he also appeared in Jamaica Inn at the Towngate Theatre in Poole and in West Side Story at the Winter Gardens Theatre in Bournemouth with the famous Big Little Theatre Company. Ken gained his Bronze, Silver and Gold medals for acting from the London Academy of Music & Drama.
Constantly striving to improve, in 1996 Ken redeveloped Mr Ken Dee & Company and introduced female dancers to the line-up. For the first time there were four performers on stage beside Ken and these included Kirsty Holloway, Rhiannon Duffin and the boys were Royce Cronin (who found TV fame in Family Affairs) and Russell Payne (who later formed Scooch the band that entered the Eurovision Song Contest with Flying the Flag).
Ken has appeared in several television productions such as The Ruth Rendall Mysteries, Trainer, Howards Way, Eastenders, Casualty, Dr Who and the comedy series Waiting for God. In 1997 he was the subject in the first episode of the series All the Worlds a Stage produced by West Country Television. The documentary focussed on Kens female impersonations with an in depth interview and a look behind the scenes.
By 1998 Kens original creation, Mr Ken Dee & Company was experiencing tremendous success and had been running for 12 years. Throughout this time the show had toured the UK, the Edinburgh Festival and had been performed at many big functions most notably at the Conservative Party Conference.
It was around this point that Ken was joined by his partner, Simon Buchanan and the pair created yet another new sensation, namely the Star Sisters. The Star Sisters enjoyed equal success and was presented to corporate and private functions as well as public events and appearances abroad.
In 1999 Ken decided to return to Weymouth College to study further and was awarded his HND in Performing Arts. Here he started to shine as an accomplished actor playing the demanding role of the serial killer Reginald Christie in the play Christie in Love. In the mystery play, The Fall and Redemption of Man Ken played four roles simultaneously. In 2002 Ken gained a BA Honours Degree in Theatre & Performance with Music at the Plymouth University.
In 2004 Ken went on to the highly respected London Academy of Performing Arts studying a post-graduate course in Classical Acting with Music. He appeared in Twelfth Night, Hamlet, Chekovs Three Sisters, The Proposal, Uncle Vanya and The Seagull and in Molieres The Misanthrope and the Miser.
In 2011 Ken again returned to perform his one man show, Mr Ken Dee in Cabaret at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where he met up with comedy writer Barry Cryer and shared his dream to produce a stage show based on the life story of Danny La Rue entitled From Drags to Riches which Ken had written back in 2007.
A very welcome revival of Mr Ken Dee & Company took place in 2012. A brand new cast plus the embraceable return of Marc Valentine saw the show performed in the Princes theatre, Aldershot to a packed house raising over £6000 for charity.
Right now, Ken is again studying at Winchester University for a Masters Degree in Devised Performance.