Thames Valley: Top comedian to host Property Awards

The hugely versatile Alistair McGowan – the impressionist, actor, writer of jokes, plays and sketches, stand-up comedian and, latterly, pianist – is the special guest presenter at the 2020 Thames Valley Property Awards.

McGowan is fondly remembered for his popular BAFTA-winning TV show The Big Impression, in which he impersonated everyone who was anyone in the early noughties. He began his career by providing voices for the puppets on Spitting Image.

The Thames Valley Property Awards (TVPA) is the biggest property event in the region , attracting more than 700 guests. Planned for April 30 at Ascot Racecourse, TVPA, organised by The Business Magazine, is always a sell-out.

Alistair McGowan has worked extensively in theatre and appeared in the West End in Art, Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors (for which he received an Olivier Award nomination). He worked at the RSC in Merry Wives: The Musical, has twice played Professor Henry Higgins in Pygmalion and received huge critical acclaim for his performance in the title role in An Audience with Jimmy Savile. He also sang in (and directed) The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance for Raymond Gubbay.

McGowan was a mainstay of BBC Radio 4 comedy shows during his early career and has written three plays for the network: Three Pieces In The Shape of A Pear, about Erik Satie; The Peregrinations of A Most Musical Irishman, about John Field; and The ‘B’ Word, about the first production of Pygmalion. He also wrote and performed a one-man stage play about Erik Satie, Erik Satie’s-faction.

His own piano ambitions reached new heights in 2018. Having gone back to the piano at the age of 49 (after reaching Grade 2 as a nine-year-old), he released The Piano Album, playing 17 short pieces by Satie, Liszt, Field, Chopin, Mompou et al, through Sony Classical. The album reached Number One in the classical chart.

In what is possibly a world first, he also tours The Piano Show, in which he plays 13 short pieces and intersperses them with stories about the composers and his trademark stand-up comedy and impressions.

He still works as comedian and over the last four years has toured the country with Jasper Carrott.