Alistair McGowan (born in Evesham on 24th November 1964) has worked in almost every area of showbusiness/the arts over his 27 year career. He is an impressionist, a stand-up comic, an actor, singer, and writer of sketches, articles, stage and radio plays but is still probably best known to British audiences for 'The Big Impression' which was, for four years, one of BBC1's top-rating comedy programmes - winning numerous awards, including a BAFTA.
On Sept 29th 2017, he released, 'Alistair McGowan ; The Piano Album' through Sony Classics. The album sees McGowan playing 17 short pieces of classical piano music by Satie, Grieg, Liszt, Field, Chopin, Mompou, Phillip Glass and Bach. It went to Number One in The Official Classical Charts and no 2 in the Classic FM chart and was John Brunning's Album of The Week in September 2017.
In 2018, he will be touring a piano-based show called, 'Introductions to Classical Piano' in which he will play many of the pieces from the album and additional short works by Gershwin, Debussy, Scriabin, Schubert and Bill Evans among others - interspersed with stories about the composers, the pieces and his own classical 'journey' with a sprinkling of wit and and a side-order of impressions... (Dates and venues below).
He will be back on TV, providing voices for an impressions-based comedy show 'The Week That Wasn't' on Sky One from May 17th 2018 for ten weeks (more below).
He can be heard providing voices, alongside Ronni Ancona, for 'Gaby's Talking Pictures' on Radio 4 for six weeks from June 10th 2018.
He will also be back on tour later in 2018 doing purely stand-up and impressions alongside Jasper Carrott (dates and venues below)
In 2016, he wrote a one-man show called "Erik Satie's-faction" which he took to the Edinburgh Festival. An assembly of Satie's words and music, it saw McGowan making his piano-playing debut and followed on from an appearance at The Proms (as Satie) in 'A Satie Cabaret' alongside pianist Alexandre Tharaud.
He has worked extensively in theatre throughout his career and appeared in the West End in 'Art', as The Emcee in 'Cabaret', the Mikado in 'The Mikado', Henry Higgins in 'Pygmalion' (twice), The Dentist in 'Little Shop of Horrors' (for which he received an Olivier nomination) and received widespread critical acclaim for his performance in the title role of Jonathan Maitland's controversial 2015 play, 'An Evening With Jimmy Saville.' His last theatre outing was in November 2017 when he played First Voice in Dylan Thomas' 'Under Milk Wood' at The Watermill Theatre in Newbury.
As an actor on television, he played Piero de Medici in 'Leonardo' for CBBC and took the lead lead role in BBC1's 'Mayo' (co-writing several episodes) and is fondly remembered as Spock in Tim Firth's ground-breaking 'Preston Front'..
He has also appeared on the big screen as Nico in 'Driving Aphrodite' with Nia Vardalos and Richard Dreyfuss.
He has been a regular on Radio 4 comedies and dramas throughout his career and has played Boris Johnson, Alan Bennett and Richard Briers in 3 different 2-hander plays in the last few years and in 2016 played all 48 characters in 'Munchausen'.
'He wrote the play 'Timing' (nominated for 'Best New Comedy' at the whatsonstage.com awards), the radio plays 'Three Pieces In The Shape of a Pear' about Erik Satie (Radio 4 - Listen Here:), 'The Peregrinations of a Most Musical Irishman (about composer and pianist John Field), 'The 'B' Word' (about the fraught first production of George Bernard Shaw's 'Pygmalion') and the book 'How To Wean Your Man Off Football' with former comedy partner, Ronni Ancona. He has also fronted documentaries on Radio 4 about two of his favourite composers - Satie and Field.
He is also fondly remembered by football fans, players and managers of a certain age for his groundbreaking 'Football Backchat' Videos which made his name in the mid-1990s.
He has directed Noel Coward's 'Semi-Monde' at The Guidhall School of Music and Drama and 'The Mikado' and 'Pirates of Penzance' for Raymond Gubbay. His love of classical music has also seen him introduce 'live' concerts for Radio 3 and twice feature as a guest on Radio 3's 'Essential Classsics'.
He presented ITV1's doomed sports comedy show 'You Cannot Be Serious' and has also featured on 'Bake Off For Comic Relief','Who Do You Think You Are', 'Mock The Week', 'Live At The Apollo', is a 'Pointless Celebrities' winner, presents occcasional pieces on 'The One Show' and began his career by providing voices for the iconic 'Spitting Image'.
The wife's not bad either!
Alistair married the singer, Charlotte Page, in June 2013 - You can watch her singing 'Losing My Mind' from Stephen Sondheim's Follies by clicking on the link below:
Latest News Sunday 24th August 2014 19:33
Alistair makes a welcome return to our television screens on May 17th 2018 in Sky One's 'The Week That Wasn't.' This brand-new, up-to-date comedy show is choc-full of impressions of all the nation's biggest names. Alistair and the team of impressionists (Jess Robinson, Luke Kempner, Ronni Ancona, Matt Forde and Duncan Wisbey) re-voice footage of the famous -as Alistair did to great success almost twenty years ago in his fondly remembered, platinum-selling 'Football Backchat' videos.
The show will run for ten weeks at 10pm every Thursday until July 19th 2018.
In mid-June, Alistair and Ronni can also be heard lending their voices to several rounds of Radio 4's new film quiz - 'Gaby's Talking Pictures' - devised and hosted by Gaby Roslin (from June 10th 2018 at 7.15pm, on Radio 4, for six weeks).
Alistair, Ronni, Jess and Luke have also been taking part in ITV 1's new impressions-based panel show, 'The Imitation Game' which is due to be transmitted in the autumn of 2018.
Alistair continues to make forays into the world of classical music and will be taking a show out on tour in the summer. His show will mix stories about composers and the fourteen-or-so pieces he will be playing and will feature some of his trademark wit and impressions. Many of the pieces he will play can be heard on his recent album. It's a one-off show - not to be missed - and is very much classical piano with a little comedy - not comedy with music !
He plays : Petworth (July 19th, 2018),King's Lyn (July 23rd), Havant (July 28th), Birmingham (Aug 4th),Hertford (Aug 9th), Maidenhead (Aug 11th), Holt (August 18th) and Milton Keynes (Aug 24th)
Also, later in 2018, Alistair will be back out on tour doing his more regular stand-up show, alongside comedy legend Jasper Carrott. The duo will play :
Dorking (Nov 4th),Worthing (Nov 5th), Tunbridge Wells (Nov 6th), Cheltenham (Nov 7th),Weston Super-Mare (Nov 12/13th), Barnstaple (Nov 15th) Darlington (Nov 18th), York (Nov 19th), Scunthorpe (Nov 20th), Hull (Nov 21st), Newcastle-Under-Lyme (Nov 26th and 27th), New Brighton (Nov 28th).
Look out for 'Alistair McGowan ; The Piano Album' (Sony Classics) !
Alistair, who went back to the piano in just 2014 (after playing for two years as a child - giving up at the age of 9 and then for two further years in his mid-thirties - giving up when 'The Big Impression' came along) plays 17 short, classical piano pieces by ; Satie, Grieg,Liszt, Chopin, Field, Bach, Mompou, Fibich and Phllip Glass after six months of intensive lessons from concert pianist, Anthony Hewitt.