Michael Pen­ning­ton’s path to be­com­ing a comic in­volved a lot of de­tours, many of which have fed into his em­bit­tered stage per­sona. Aged 11, he was set on join­ing the priest­hood, but moved back home from sem­i­nary af­ter four terms. He later stud­ied pot­tery at Mid­dle­sex Univer­sity, earn­ing a third. Af­ter time tend­ing bar and a few false starts at com­edy, he fi­nally found suc­cess in the guise of Johnny Ve­gas. By the early 2000s, Ve­gas was a reg­u­lar on Bri­tish screens, and Pen­ning­ton continues act and write un­der the name to­day.

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