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Paul Kaye at London Film and Comic Con in July, 2018
|Born||15 December 1964|
Clapham, London, England
Orly Katz (m. 1989)
|Notable works and roles||Dennis Pennis|
Paul Kaye (born 15 December 1964) is an English comedian and actor. Kaye is best known for his portrayals of shock interviewer Dennis Pennis on The Sunday Show, New York lawyer Mike Strutter on MTV's Strutter, Thoros of Myr in HBO's Game of Thrones and Vincent the Fox on the BBC comedy Mongrels.
Kaye was born in Clapham, London. He and his twin sister were adopted by Jewish parents who ran a sportswear shop in Wembley, where he was brought up. Kaye was a promising schoolboy athlete who achieved an impressive time in the 100 metres. He later became a fan of punk rock, particularly Sid Vicious. At 16 he entered Harrow School of Art on a two-year foundation course, and achieved a distinction. Kaye received a first-class degree in Theatre Design at Trent Polytechnic.
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On graduation, Kaye designed theatre posters for the King's Head, the Bush Theatre and the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill. He was a scene painter at the Old Vic Theatre in Waterloo and illustrated regularly for the NME, i-D, Literary Review, Time Out and International Musician magazines between 1987 and 1989. He had two exhibitions of illustration and poster work between 1989 and 1990, firstly at the Soho House Theatre, W1 and then at the Drill Hall, WC1.
Kaye formed and sang in many bands, notably the dark psychedelic outfit We Are Pleb, who played extensively on the Camden scene of 1988-89 (which spawned Blur and Suede) and had a penchant for setting the stage on fire. Kaye was signed to Go Discs in 1992 with a group called TV Eye (formed with ex-members of the band Eat), which released two singles, "Killer Fly" and "Eradicator".
In 1993, Kaye filmed a prototype Dennis Pennis, interviewing his own band on a late-night indie music show on Granada TV called Transmission. After the interview, Kaye then went out with the crew, got very drunk and offended as many people as possible up and down Oxford Street. This tape somehow arrived on the desk of producers at Planet 24 six months later, and they offered Kaye the job of knocking on people's doors at 6.00am on The Big Breakfast. Kaye turned them down, preferring to stay on the dole and stick with We Are Pleb; Mark Lamarr eventually took the job.
Kaye was the in-house graphic designer for Tottenham Hotspur. He had an office in White Hart Lane and designed merchandise for Spurs, Derby County, Southampton and Aston Villa for Danish sportswear brand Hummel International (doing caricatures of Paul Gascoigne for school lunchboxes etc.). As an Arsenal fan, Kaye has said there are subliminal cannons contained within his work for Spurs, most notably a pen and ink drawing of Tottenham's new stand on a catalogue cover which feature a minute cannon in the crowd: 70,000 were printed. Kaye became in-house theatre designer of the Bet Zvi Drama Academy in Tel Aviv for 12 months in 1994, designing all the in-house productions in their studio theatre.
His TV debut was on The Word being secretly filmed in Oliver Reed's dressing room. Kaye recalls "Reed had drunk two bottles of vodka, taken all his clothes off and I honestly thought he was going to kill me on live television. I swore in bed that I'd never do a celebrity interview again. Typically, six months later I'd come up with Dennis Pennis."
In 1994, Kaye convinced his old friend Anthony Hines (a car mechanic and some time roadie for TV Eye) to help him write Dennis Pennis when he was offered the job on The Sunday Show. (Hines was later poached by Sacha Baron Cohen to write for Ali G on The Eleven O'Clock Show and went on to receive an Oscar nomination for co-writing Borat in 2006).
Celebrity interviewer Dennis Pennis - created by Kaye and Hines - was one of Kaye's best-known characters. With dyed red hair, gaudy jackets adorned with punk-style badges, and thick glasses, Pennis stood out from the crowd and asked celebrities atypical questions, ranging from playful to cruel.
After brief stints presenting two episodes of Transmission (ITV's indie music magazine programme circa 1990) as Pennis, the character next appeared in 1995 on BBC2's The Sunday Show. The basic premise was that Kaye and a camera crew would visit film premieres, press functions and other assorted celebrity gatherings to attempt to get an "interview" with stars, in between short skits and sketches featuring the character.
Originally, the celebrities would be mainly British stars harassed at assorted London-based events, such as actor Hugh Grant, TV host Ulrika Jonsson and sports pundit Des Lynam. A 1995 video release of these early clips, Anyone For Pennis, assured success for the controversial comedian, who sought to broaden Pennis's scope.
His victims from this point on were much more renowned, the most famous of whom were Arnold Schwarzenegger, Demi Moore, Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman and Bruce Willis, amid a raft of other Hollywood A-list stars. It was apparent that these victims were unsettled and unhappy with Pennis's unique line of questioning. Some stars, such as Costner, insulted him back, while others, such as Moore, simply declined to comment and left. Pennis was visibly amused at the look of disgust on some of the stars' faces. There was some controversy when Pennis asked of Steve Martin: "How come you're not funny any more?" Martin subsequently cancelled all scheduled press interviews. Kaye later said that he regretted this interview for a while, but that "anyone who thinks they can improve on Bilko and Inspector Clouseau needs a slap don't they?"
The final video release, Dennis Pennis RIP: Too Rude to Live, released in 1997, saw the character killed off. As Kaye explained, "Dennis Pennis had become too expensive. Taking a film crew out every night with no guarantee of getting even a minute's worth of footage of me harassing celebs was just stupid. And then the programme would take months to compile, and it was just boring, man... hanging out in the rain, twiddling your thumbs, playing with your hip flask... he had to go... at the risk of sounding a bit wanky, Pennis was more of an art project in my mind, living out my fantasy of being a naughty boy. Once I'd packed it in, I had no intention of ever doing anything like it again."
In 1998 Kaye appeared in the video to the Fat Les song "Vindaloo" as a Richard Ashcroft look-alike. That year he also appeared as the character DI Lindsay De Paul in the TV comedy movie You Are Here.
In 2000 Kaye starred in the comedy series Perfect World, a sitcom about a down-on-his-luck marketing manager. He also briefly presented a BBC2 quiz show, Liar, in which six contestants would all have a supposed claim to fame and the studio audience voted on which one they believed was telling the truth. In the same year Kaye took a dramatic role alongside Michelle Collins in Two Thousand Acres of Sky.
In 2004, Kaye played the leading role in the film Blackball. His role as deaf DJ Frankie Wilde in the 2005 mockumentary It's All Gone Pete Tong won him the Film Discovery Jury Award at the 2005 US Comedy Arts Festival. He played in two episodes of the BBC drama series Waking the Dead, playing Dr. David Carney in "Shadowplay". Television appearances in 2006 and 2007 include episodes of Hustle, EastEnders and Kingdom. Kaye is now[when?] the chief interviewer on rockworld.tv, in which he interviews up-and-coming punk/indie bands.
Kaye appeared in Hotel Babylon (11 March 2008, BBC One), Pulling (Series 2, March 2008, BBC Three) and as Uncle Gorwel in A Child's Christmases in Wales by Mark Watson (17 December 2009, BBC Four and 24 December 2009, BBC One Wales).
From November 2010 to January 2011, Kaye played Matilda's father, Mr Wormwood, in the Royal Shakespeare Company's musical Matilda, based on the classic Roald Dahl novel Matilda. Kaye reprised the role when the musical transferred to the Cambridge Theatre in London's West End in October 2011. In April 2012, Kaye was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical.
In 2013, Kaye appeared as Thoros of Myr in the third season of the HBO series Game of Thrones, and as Danno in the BBC Radio 4 series Love in Recovery. In 2016, he reprised his role as Thoros of Myr in the sixth season of Game of Thrones, and returned for the seventh season.
Kaye's other television credits include The Trial of Elizabeth Gadge, an episode of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton's anthology series Inside No. 9, Netflix's first original TV series Lilyhammer, the BAFTA winning Murder in Successville, BBC miniseries Three Girls, Sky comedy Zapped, Drunk History, The Windsors, Urban Myths, Terry Pratchett: Back in Black and the adaptation of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's Good Omens.
In 2017 Kaye appeared onstage again as Chilean bomb maker Jose Miguel in B, a new play by Guillermo Calderón at the Royal Court Theatre. Currently he appears as Dr Malcolm Donahue, the pathologist in ITV's Vera. Kaye has appeared as Danno, who is a recovering alcoholic attending Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) meetings in Pete Jackson's BBC Radio 4 comedy drama series Love in Recovery.
|2004||It's All Gone Pete Tong||Frankie Wilde|
|2004||Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London||Neville Trubshaw|
|2005||Short Order||Cable Show Guy|
|2005||Match Point||Estate Agent|
|2009||Malice in Wonderland||Caterpillar|
|2009||A Child's Christmases in Wales||Uncle Gorwel||Television film|
|2010||The Big I Am||Keys|
|2013||The Whale||Matthew Joy|
|2014||Dracula Untold||Brother Lucian|
|2016||The Comedian's Guide to Survival||Philip|
|2018||Anna and the Apocalypse||Arthur Savage|
|2000-2001||Perfect World||Bob Slay|
|2001-2003||Two Thousand Acres of Sky||Kenny Marsh|
|2004||Waking the Dead||Dr. David Carney||Episode: "Shadowplay"|
|2006||Hustle||Tim Millen||Series 3, Episode 5|
|2007-2009||Kingdom||Alan McEwan||3 episodes|
|2008||Comedy Live Presents||Mike Strutter||Channel 4 One-off|
|2008||Massive||Manny Westside||Episode: "Recording the Single"|
|2008||Hotel Babylon||Maxwell||1 episode|
|2009||39 i Pó?||Kelly Moran|
|2009||Midsomer Murders||Laurence Mann||Episode: "The Great and the Good"|
|2010||Inspector George Gently||Max Osgood||Episode: "Gently Evil"|
|2011||Candy Cabs||Dennis Whitehead||3 episodes|
|2011||Being Human||Vincent||Episode: "Lia"|
|2013-2017||Game of Thrones||Thoros of Myr||10 episodes|
|2013||Not Going Out||Steve||Episode: "Magic"|
|2013-2014||Lilyhammer||Duncan Hammer||4 episodes|
|2013||Ripper Street||Gabriel Cain||1 episode|
|2014||Friday Night Dinner||Rabbi||1 episode|
|2014||Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell||Vinculus|
|2015||The Interceptor||Jago||2 episodes|
|2015||Humans||Silas Capek||2 episodes|
|2015||SunTrap||Freddie Mercury||1 episode|
|2015||Inside No. 9||Richard Two-Shoes||1 episode: "The Trial of Elizabeth Gadge"|
|2015||Doctor Who||Prentis||2 episodes: "Under the Lake", "Before the Flood"|
|2016||Murder In Successville||Louis Walsh||Episode: "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes"|
|2016-2018||Zapped||Howel||Episodes: "Mr Weaver", "Mr Charisma" & "Mr Wuffles" (Season 1)|
|2017||Three Girls||Jim Winshaw|
|2017||Terry Pratchett: Back in Black||Sir Terry Pratchett|
|2018||Dark Heart||Jim Duggan||2 episodes (5&6)|
|2019||Cold Feet||Reverend Daniel Booth||Series 8, episodes 4 and 5|
|2019||Vera Series 9||Dr. Malcolm Donahue|
|2019||Good Omens||Electricity Board Spokesperson (impersonating the voice of Terry Pratchett) ||1 episode: "Saturday Morning Funtime"|
|2019||After Life||Psychiatrist||Main cast, 6 episodes|
|2019||Year of the Rabbit||Detective Inspector Tanner||Main cast, 6 episodes|
|2020||The Stranger||Patrick Katz||8 episodes|
|Fight the English Way|
|1996||You Don't Know Jack||Jack Cake||Voice, UK edition only|
|2004||The Getaway: Black Monday||Levi Statov||Voice|
Kaye has been nominated for, and won, a number of film awards:
"Best supporting Actor in a Musical-Whats on Stage Awards 2012 (Matilda the Musical) "Best Supporting Actor in a Musical"-Olivier Awards 2012 (Matilda the Musical)