Keith Chegwin joins the list of celebrity presenters at the National Film Awards 2015
Award winning TV/Film and on stage British performer, Keith Chegwin is confirmed to join the list of celebrity presenters at the National Film Awards 2015 taking place on the 31st of March 2015 in London.
Born in Bootle, Chegwin’s early career started by entering an end of pier talent competition in Rhyl, North Wales. He joined ‘The Happy Wanderers’ a concert party that toured the pubs, clubs of the north west. He was then spotted by June Collins (Phil Collins’s mother) of the Barbara Speake Stage School on Junior Showtime, a Yorkshire Television programme for young talent. She invited him to London to audition for the stage show Mame with Ginger Rogers. He attended stage school with his twin brother, Jeff.
While at school, Chegwin auditioned and got roles on TV, film and stage. He was in works of the Children’s Film Foundation, appearing as Egghead Wentworth in The Troublesome Double (1967) and Egghead’s Robot (1970). Chegwin’s most prestigious acting role was that of Fleance in Roman Polanski’s film Macbeth (1971), and he also played a small role in the 1973 film The Optimists of Nine Elms starring Peter Sellers. In 1973, he also appeared in the pilot episode of Open All Hours and then had smaller parts in The Liver Birds, The Adventures of Black Beauty, My Old Man, Village Hall, Z-Cars (both 1974), ITV’s The Wackers and The Tomorrow People serial Worlds Away (both in 1975). His last major acting role was the title role in the film Robin Hood Junior (1975), although he had two small roles with Tom Courtenay in the Chester Mystery Cycle (1976) and some years later in the film Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? (1999). He appeared in TV ads for products such as Pepsi, Barley Water, Tizer and Cadbury Creme Eggs and even modelled underpants in the ‘Freemans’ catalogue
Chegwin performed in West End stage shows such as Tom Brown’s School Days with Russell Grant and Simon LeBon, and The Good Old Bad Old Days with Anthony Newley and Captain Pugwash, written by Bill Kenwright.
Chegwin made it into the charts with the band ‘Kenny’ and sang the ‘Bump’ which reached number 19 in the pop charts. In the 1970s, he had a career as a singer releasing singles on the Pye Records label. He also worked as a disc jockey for 194 Radio City and four years at BBC Radio 1 on Tony Blackburn’s weekend morning show.
In the mid 1970s, Chegwin moved away from acting, becoming a household name presenting programmes such as Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Cheggers Plays Pop and, in the 1980s, Saturday Superstore. As Brown Sauce, he and Swap Shop co-presenters Noel Edmonds and Maggie Philbin released the pop single “I Wanna Be a Winner”, which reached number 15 in January 1982, and a follow-up single as the Saucers called “Spring Has Sprung”. On Swap Shop and Superstore, he was featured in outside broadcasts; on Swap Shop they were called Swaparama, appearing at outdoor venues around Britain, where he helped children swap their toys. On Superstore, Chegwin had a similar role, only the toys were called Bargains and he worked on the Store’s delivery van.
Chegwin is known for his off the cuff ad-lib style of broadcasting. He brags the fact that no one has ever written a word for him. Chegwin’s career waned in the late 1980s and 1990s, due to his alcoholism, as detailed, in his own words, in his semi autobiographical book, Shaken But Not Stirred. In 1990, he hosted the live nightly Sky talent programme Sky Star Search. Chegwin stopped drinking after his appearance on the Richard and Judy show This Morning on 5 November 1992. Chegwin’s career regained speed in 1993 when he presented the “Down Your Doorstep” outside broadcast segment on The Big Breakfast, in which he cried, “Wake up you beggars, it’s Cheggers!”. He subsequently hosted the show and, in 1999, went on to present a revived version of the 1970s gameshow It’s a Knockout on Channel 5.
In 2000, Chegwin presented his own TV show on the World Wide Web, where his daily audience for the seven week trial reached over 250,000. His internet TV show ‘Cheggersbedroom’ was headline news – pioneering the start of live in-vision presenter advertising on the web. The BBC made a documentary featuring Chegwin and his ability to build a five camera outside broadcast unit at his home, present, direct, write his daily show for 10 hours a day -7 days a week. Chegwin presented the Channel 5 and Yorkshire Television nudist gameshow Naked Jungle, appearing naked except for a hat. He identifies making the show as “the worst career move” in his entire life.
Chegwin worked for seven years on GMTV. In 2006, he appeared as himself in an episode of the Ricky Gervais sitcom Extras, where he sent himself up and gained plaudits for doing so. He also has his own recording studio and video edit suite and does his voice over work from home. Chegwin frequently wrote jingles for the Chris Moyles Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 1. Chegwin has hosted the BAFTA television & film industry awards twice in London. He created his own web based bingo site ‘Cheggersbingo’ for seven years – the only internet bingo site owned by a celebrity.
In November 2011, the Kill Keith film. Chegwin also made an appearance in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s comedy series Life’s Too Short with Shaun Williamson and Les Dennis. In August 2012, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Reality TV Awards.
From 7 January 2015, Chegwin took part in the fifteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5. On 6 February, he finished in fourth place.
Keith, will be presenting the Best Drama category at the NFA’s . For more details on the National Film Awards taking place on the 31st of March 2015. E-mail: [email protected]