Comedian and TV star Johnny Vegas started life by the name of Michael Pennington and lived in St Helen's, Lancashire. Growing up he entered (and dropped out of) seminary school, trained as a potter and worked as a barman.
In 1996, Pennington made his TV debut as a contestant on Win, Lose or Draw. He competed under his real name, but stated on air that he wanted to be a comedian with the stage name ‘Johnny Vegas’. He soon worked his way up to compering comedy nights in London, playing TV gameshows and making various other appearances, growing an ever-increasing fanbase with each. A year later, in 1997, he won Edinburgh’s prestigious Perrier Award for his stand-up comedy. Since then he has appeared on panel shows, one-off movies, hugely popular TV sitcoms Benidorm and Ideal, and crowned these achievements with several 'straight' non-comedic acting roles in television dramas, to great critical acclaim.