English actor and surrealist comedian known for his stand-up routines and appearances in TV shows Ideal and Benidorm.
Brought up as a Roman Catholic, Johnny Vegas attended, at the age of eleven, St Joseph’s College in Upholland, a Roman Catholic boarding-school seminary, to train for the priesthood, leaving after four terms due to being homesick.
Johnny made his television debut as a contestant on Win, Lose or Draw in 1996 under his real name of Michael, making references that he wanted to be a comedian and that his stage name was “Johnny Vegas”.
In 2001, he starred as Al in adverts for ITV Digital with a puppet named Monkey (voiced by Ben Miller). In 2007, he reprised the role in adverts for tea brand PG Tips.
The following year he starred in, and co-wrote with Tony Burgess and Tony Pitts, the BBC Radio 4 sitcom Night Class, playing a former Butlin’s redcoat teaching evening classes in pottery. The sitcom was a runner-up for best comedy at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.
Johnny starred in the BBC Three sitcom Ideal as Moz from 2005 to 2011 and, between 2007 and 2009, played Geoff “The Oracle” Maltby in the ITV sitcom Benidorm.
In 2012, Vegas played the role of Mr. Croombe in a television adaptation of David Walliams’ children’s novel Mr Stink. In 2014, Vegas voiced Fat Baz in the ITV4 animated sitcom Warren United and took part in ITV’s two-part documentary series Secrets from the Clink.
In 2003, he played Jackie Symes in the film The Virgin of Liverpool, Alf Prince in the film Cheeky and Trevor in the film Blackball. He also played Dave in the film Sex Lives of the Potato Men, voiced Uncle Stewart in the film Terkel in Trouble and provided the voice of Abu the hamster in the British film The Harry Hill Movie.
Having achieved fame in entertainment, Vegas received plaudits for his ceramic work. Ceramic Review praised him, leading to a role in Pot Shots (collaborating with Roger Law), a film made for an international gathering of potters. This led to his work being acquired for a collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum and a commission from Old Spice to design a bottle for their aftershave.