Acclaimed comedian, actor, writer, podcaster and presenter Lee Mack has won the Sefton Arts Award, sponsored by Fitton Estates, at the 2023 Pride Of Sefton Awards.
The star has made a huge contribution to the arts since his days as a schoolboy in Southport – and as a stable boy for Red Rum!
Lee Gordon McKillop went to Birkdale Primary Junior School (Bury Road) and Stanley High School in Southport on his way to becoming a Bluecoat at Pontins on his way to stardom.
Known for his quick wit and killer one liners, he has written and starred in sitcom Not Going Out, been a captain on BBC One comedy Would I Lie To You? and has been a guest on shows including Have I Got News For You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown and many more.
Since September 2020 he has hosted a podcast Buddhism and mindfulness with Neil Webster called I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha.
He has contributed to many major fundraising events, including taking part in several Soccer Aid matches to raise money for UNICEF.
Lee was unable to attend the awards due to other commitments, and his award was accepted on stage by Mayor of Sefton Cllr Clare Carragher, alongside Graham Bowling from Fitton Estates.
Finalists included Hilda Blomley, who is over 90 years old and has made a huge contribution to the arts in Sefton over the years.
She has been a member of All Souls Dramatic Club in Southport from its outset in the 1960s and has been an acting member from the beginning, starring on stage until her 80s.
The other Finalist was Mark Thompson, who was part of the team who worked alongside acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro on his latest film, Pinocchio. The movie was named best animated feature at the Academy Awards.
Mark has worked on dozens of movies in his role as a model maker at MacKinnon and Saunders – including Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks and Corpse Bride. However, it is Guillermo del Toro’s latest film, Pinocchio, that has been grabbing the headlines recently.
VIP guests included Mayor of Sefton Cllr Clare Carragher and Deputy Lieutenant of Merseyside Julie Lawson, while the night was hosted by In Demand Radio presenter Claire Simmo and TV presenter Fraser Dainton.
Entertainment was provided by Kelly Bond and Soul Jam.
Money was raised for the Steve Prescott Foundation and the ICU Steps charity, a cause close to Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group Chairman Andrew Mikhail after his long battle in intensive care in hospital against Covid-19 during the pandemic.